Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.

Ecobranding Hero

Ecobranding CMYK Guide

An eco-designed color guide and an open-source intended to use less ink, less paper and less energy.


The Ecobranding CMYK Guide is an open-source color tool that features 167 CMYK four color process (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key (Black)) that have been eco-designed along with their corresponding values. The colours used in this guide limit the ink consumption used for four color printing.


In printing, not all colors use the same amount of ink.

Printing red colors (0% Cyan + 100% Magenta + 100% Yellow + 100% Yellow + 0% Key = 200%) uses twice the amount of ink as printing black colors (0% Cyan + 0% Magenta + 0% Yellow + 100% Key = 100%).

In printing not all colors use the same type of paper.

In printing, the maximum total ink coverage is 300%; for recycled paper it can be 270%. If you print a strong green like “Forest Green” (100% Cyan + 50% Magenta + 100% Yellow + 50% Key = 300%) you must use thick paper to avoid drying and staining problems, conversely if you print using a lighter green such as “Light Green” (40% Cyan + 0% Magenta + 40% Yellow + 7% Key = 87%) you can reduce your paper consumption by using thinner paper.

In printing, not all colors use the same amount of energy.

Inkjet printers use print heads that go back and forth in order to project ink droplets onto paper. All these trips consume energy. We have found (disclaimer: without official studies) that for a color with a high total ink coverage the print head makes more trips than for a color with a low total ink coverage. The color with a higher total ink coverage will therefore consume more energy.


We have created an Ecobranding CMYK Guide, a new color language tool that only selects colours that do not exceed a total ink coverage of 100%. Our first version has 167 "standards" colors, but we can chose many more and the Ecobranding CMYK Guide has been designed to evolve.

Ecobranding CMYK Colors

Ecobranding CMYK colors

Each color has been standardized according to the same process:

ECOBRANDING(name of the colour chart) 50(ink rate) -4(number of the colour in its ink rate range)

This allows the user to easily see the ink coverage for each colour they chose.

The Ecobranding CMYK Guide is free and open-source and must not be commercialized. It comes in the form of an Ecobranding.ase color chart file that can be easily installed on your computer (e.g. Adobe Illustrator/Presets/Color Swatches) and can be found in the color library.

Digital Color Swatch

It is also accompanied by a CMYK PDF poster ready to be printed in Certified proof.

PDF Poster


Version Number

  • Ecobranding CMYK Guide 1.1 (2019)
  • Designed By The Ecobranding Foundation




An eco-designed color guide to use less ink, less paper and less energy.







No releases published


No packages published