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How to be on-brand

China’s Greater Bay Area is not only the world’s factory where famous Brands and retailers manufacture, produce and assemble their goods, it is also home to the largest concentration of Printing and Packaging companies working in primary and support roles.

Here you can find every type of printing application currently available anywhere on the planet. This can range from mini PAD printers applying tiny details to your kid’s toys and dolls, to manufacturing the box containing your new smart phone and add-ons, to High-end coffee table books and compostable pouches for your coffee beans or instant coffee or spice powders. Here you can find manual water transfer printers who make the much-loved phone case you hold in your hand all day to the heat transfer decal printing on the material your clothes are made from, using huge 8 to 10 color gravure presses.

However, the question is how do you get the printed result you expect first time and every time. The main issue, which creates the biggest misunderstanding, is not the actual printing but the file supplied for printing. While China uses a mix of the best printing machines available on the market combined with older machines, it almost totally lacks professional color management software solutions.

In Europe and America, printing files for color critical jobs are made using internationally recognised color standards Fogra and Cracol. Simply put, this means the color proofs you approve from a design agency are calibrated to the printing machine to guarantee the same output anywhere. However, in China there are only a handful of printers using these color systems, which results in a divergence between approved proof and final printed result.

While this can be manually overcome with the help of a skilled printing technician, it totally breaks down when you are using multiple suppliers in different locations and hoping to achieve the same result is each location again and again. What usually happened was a client’s quality control person would check every job during the printing phase and work together with the printer to get it right. This has not been possible recently and for the foreseeable future due to covid restrictions on travel.

As you can see from the image above a color can be many different shades, but if your brand has a specific color which needs to be reproduced over several suppliers and locations, skill and discipline are rquired to get it right.

Therefore, the first tip to get printing correct is to make the file correctly using a recognised proofing system. While the printer may not have the same system, it does give them a better chance to achieve an acceptable result more efficiently.


So... how can I help ?

- Setting up an efficient process

- Making correct print files

- Finding a G7 certified printer,

- Quality checking or just making a certified calibrated proof here in China

- Colour management


I have built up a network of tested and reliable contacts over the past nine years living here ion China. Combine this with decades of hands on prepress and printing experience puts me in a unique positon to offer advice and support for the most challenging projects, large or small, or just help to get it right first time in China without any hassle.

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