Ink Printing Knowledge

  • Ink is available in dozens of standard colors. The standard colors may vary between forms manufacturers, so consult your forms supplier for their list of standard colors.
  • If a non-standard ink color is required, you may ask the forms supplier to match a specific sample or you can provide a Pantone Matching System® (PMS) number. The PMS book contains hundreds of color choices. Some colors are much more expensive than others so an upcharge may be applied if certain colors are required.
  • The following is a list of some of the standard ink colors provided by many forms suppliers:

Process Yellow
012 Pantone Yellow
165 Orange
Warm Red
032 Red
185 Red
199 Red
Rubine Red
Process Magenta
Rhodamine Red
464 Brown
470 Brown

Pantone Purple
Reflex Blue
286 Blue
072 Pantone Blue
293 Blue
Process Blue
Process Cyan
Pantone Green
347 Green
423 Gray
Process Black

  • All ink used on a continuous laser form must be heat resistant to withstand the high operating temperature of the laser printer.
  • The ink can be applied in various ways:
  • Spot Color - colors applied using separate plates to add color in specific areas, each plate having a different image that is printed.
  • Duotones - two halftone images, which were produced using different screen angles, that are printed over each other. Duotones are generally printed in black and another color.
  • Tritones - three halftone images, produced at different screen angles, which were made from the same image and then printed over each other in three different colors.
  • Quadtones - four halftone images, produced at different screen angles, which were made from the same image and then printed over each other in four different colors.
  • Process Color - four process colors, cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, printed on top of each other. Each color uses the same image produced at varying intensities, to reproduce a full color image.
  • High Fidelity Color (Hi-Fi) - a method of color printing which utilizes additional process ink colors to produce a greater range of color.
  • Prismatic Ink - the blending of two or more colors in a single printing unit. This produces a blend of color that is difficult to duplicate. It is most often used as a security feature.
  • Desensitizing Ink - used on carbonless paper multiple part forms when no image transfer is desired in specific areas.

View Samples of Special Ink Features

Note: Indicate to the supplier the number of ink colors needed on both the front and back of the form.


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