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Custom Buttons Design: Color, Image Resolution, and Text

With our custom buttons, you can not only choose your own size and type of backing your buttons will have, you can also submit your own artwork and photos for a button as unique as you are!

Today we are focusing on the most common questions we receive about button colors, image resolution, and text.

 

Color

 

Colors help your custom button design stand out from the crowd, and we let you use as many as your heart desires! However, there are some factors to keep in mind when choosing your button colors to help make sure they turn out amazing:

 

What types of colors can be printed in my button design?

There are two main ways of making color, with light (RGB) and with ink (CMYK). RGB stands for Red-Green-Blue, while CMYK represents the Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Key (“Key”= black) inks for printing. It is important to know what system your button design is using to create color, as it will effect how your final button design will print!

The first is RGB, and it is used for displaying color on digital screens like computers, smartphones, and television screens. Small LED bulbs behind the screen combine different amounts of red, green, and blue light to produce bright light we see as color. When these three colors of light are combined, they produce white light. This is why so many RGB colors can appear bright and vivid!

When creating a custom button design on your computer, this way of mixing colors is why your design can appear vivid and colorful on a screen.

 

The diagram above shows how RGB colors combine to form other colors. Because this way of mixing colors involves light, when all three colors are mixed together the result is white.

 

The second, CMYK, is used for printing and physical objects. Colors are made by combining different amounts of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks. The “K” in CMYK refers to black pigment, or the “key”, for the printing process. Since physical pigments are used to create colors there are limits to how vivid any color can be. Using more of any pigment always results in a darker color.

Because we print out your designs to use them for buttons, we use CMYK colors for every custom button design.

 

This diagram shows how CMYK colors are combined to create different colors with ink. Unlike RGB colors, mixing all of them creates black.

 

Can I use Pantone ® colors in my button design?

If you are choosing a Pantone ® color for your button design, choose colors from the Solid +Coated swatch book under the “CMYK” column. Because we print with CMYK inks and not Pantone ® inks we cannot guarantee your buttons will print with the exact color you choose. We will try to make sure your buttons print as closely as possible to the chosen color, but if a match cannot be made our graphics department will work with you to find a solution.

 

 

If I am using RGB colors in my design, can I switch to CMYK?

Technically yes, but any colors that are super bright and vibrant (like neon greens, bright oranges, and intense reds) will end up looking different on your buttons than it looks on your screen. This is because even when the color space is changed, your monitor is showing your button design in RGB colors. We recommend making sure your colors are in CMYK so what you are viewing is a closer representation of how your button design will print.

If our graphic designers notice a color they think will print significantly different on your buttons than what you might be expecting, they will notify you via email or on your button proof sheet before sending your design to production.

 

Image Resolution

 

This is a bit of a complicated topic, but it is not as scary as it seems! Image resolution is measured in two units: Pixels Per Inch (PPI) and Dots Per Inch (DPI). Digital screens have pixels and work with PPI. Because your screen display has a fixed ratio of pixels a lower resolution image might look exactly the same as a high resolution image.

However, printers use DPI and the differences in resolution will be noticeable. This is because the resolution in this case refers to the number of physical ink dots per square inch. The higher the DPI resolution, the greater the number of ink dots and the clearer your image will appear.

To achieve a clear button image, we recommend having a minimum of 300 DPI for your button designs. However, if your image is pixelated when you send it in, changing the DPI to 300 will NOT fix the pixilation issue.

 

 

Another thing to note is if you have a tiny image that is high resolution, making it larger will result in lower resolution images. This is because the amount of pixels in an image will always stay the same, the pixels will only become larger as the overall image becomes larger. Because of this we recommend that any images you use for your custom buttons are larger than the button size you plan on ordering.

 

Is saving an image with “Web Safe” settings okay for printing?

If you are unsure about what “Web Safe” files are, feel free to skip this section!

For making your buttons, it is generally not a good idea to save your image with web safe settings before sending it to us. Web safe settings are intended for screen viewing, and like we mentioned earlier a computer or phone screen can make it seem like low-resolution images are the same as high-resolution ones. This setting will reduce the overall resolution, making it more difficult to print a high quality image for your buttons.

 

Can I use a screenshot for my custom buttons?

Using a screenshot on your button will almost always result in a pixelated image, especially on our larger button sizes. With the way computers save screenshot files, we cannot edit them to make them clearer. We highly recommend sending us the original artwork file instead, which should be higher in resolution than a screenshot would be and will print much clearer on your buttons.

 

My design has a lot of extra space around what I want on my button, should I crop it?

When sending in your button images, always leave extra room around the edges for us to work with. When your images have extra room around the edges, or a “bleed area”, we are able to make sure your design fills the entire button, including the back! If you crop your image before submitting it and you do not have bleed area, harsh edges might appear on the button face.

If you are using our button template to determine design placement, make sure the bleed area of your button design reaches the solid blue line.

 

Adding Text to Your Buttons

 

From band names and campaign slogans, to wishing someone a happy holiday, having text on your button is a great way to get your message across clearly and quickly.

 

Can I send my button design with text already in it?

Yes, however, keep in mind that depending on the type of file your artwork is saved as we might not be able to make any changes to the image you send us.

It is important to note that if you send a file with a font that is not very common, we might not be able to view your entire button design due to a missing font file. If this happens, we will need you to send the font file that was used, outline your fonts, or send your button design as a different file type.

 

What fonts should I use for my buttons?

The main purpose of text on a button is to share a message with the people around you, so having legible text is very important! While you are free to use any font you have access to for your design, we recommend using fonts that are clear and easy to read for your custom buttons. This is especially true for smaller button sizes, as the smaller button face means your text will also need to be smaller to fit on the visible part of the button. When you are creating your button design, be sure to view the design at an accurate size to have a good idea of the size of the text on your printed button.

 

What if I have a picture to for my button, but I don’t know how to add text?

Our graphics team will help you find the perfect font and layout for your custom buttons. We recommend looking at different fonts online for inspiration, and letting them know about which fonts you are interested in. If we cannot access the font you would like, we will do our best to find a close match to your desired style.

 

Here at Everyone Loves Buttons we want to make sure your buttons look their best!

Ready to order buttons, or looking for a quote? Visit our website at www.custombuttons.com today!

Still have questions about designing your buttons? Give us a call at 623-445-9975, or email us at [email protected].