Frequently Asked Questions FAQ > Questions About Lettering > Will the Vinyl Lettering color I receive look different from what I see on the screen?

Will the Vinyl Lettering color I receive look different from what I see on the screen?

Yes, … just slightly.

RGB vs CYMKWhy? Screen colors look different because your computer screen emits light through colors, while your vinyl lettering reflects light. Plus, how is your screen calibrated? What light is the decal seen in? These are variables that could mean there is a slight difference between what a screen shows and what real life shows.

Screens use RGB colors (Red / Green / Blue) to make every color. Printers have a broader spectrum of colors using at least CMYK (with our printers offering CMYKLmLcW: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Light Magenta, Light Cyan, White). The human eye is not limited by RGB, CMYK, or even CMYKLmLcW and therefore has an even broader spectrum than any phone or printer. A discerning human eye can see differences between the two: printer and monitor.

For example, with a side by side inspection, your truck or boat lettering could not be the ‘exact’ same color Green as what is on the screen when designing. It all has to do with “light emitting RGB” vs “light reflecting CMYK”.

Even More Details:
All monitors display color differently. Most of our designers have two to three monitors on their desk. Each monitor shows the same image color but in a different shade or hue of the color. The differences are slight but very real.

Some monitors are LCD and some are LED. While a standard LCD monitor uses fluorescent backlights, an LED monitor uses light-emitting diodes for backlights so thus tend to have poorer color consistency. LED monitors typically have superior picture quality, but they come in varying backlight configurations. In addition, some backlight configurations create better images than others. For the real discerning color geek, a continually calibrated old style tube monitor can display MORE accurate colors then any other technology. But even we gave up on those a decade ago.

The way you calibrate your monitor / phone settings will have an effect on the colors you see when designing.

In Conclusion
What does all of that mean? Simply put, corresponding colors look slightly different printed in real life than they do on a computer screen, phone, or tablet. What you design (and see on the screen) will not be exactly the same color as the vinyl lettering when applied. The variance will be minor, but it is important to know there will be a difference.

What if I need an ‘exact’ match?
Bullseye Color Matching at SignSpecialist for Vinyl Lettering

If it is imperative that you match certain colors exactly, we can provide physical color samples for your final approval. The cost of these samples is $15 (up to 10 color codes). Enter your sample color codes here:


On the other hand:
– Don’t want to wait on samples to be mailed
– The color does not have to match exactly

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