And I'll say it again.
Eat your veggies.
Hang your towel.
Put the toilet seat down.
Clean your room.
Not tonight dear.
Now let's bring this back to stationery (and design and science).
The colour on your desktop, compared with you iPad, compared with your printer, compared with your phone, compared with my printer, compared with the type of paper it is printed on...will vary. The ONLY way you can get a true idea of the EXACT colour your stationery will print out is to get a printed sample.
Not always possible I know. With digital files, you have to take a stab in the dark and hope that it will match your theme. In most cases, it isn't far wrong.
In saying that, for your wedding, if you ordered your stationery online and your dresses are pale pink, and the colour you got is baby pink with the slightest hint of yellow, or the card not off white, it is ivory, rest assured that no one is going to hold that invite up to your bridesmaids dresses and scream "OH MY LORD! The colour is not exact!! Everyone come and look" (unless of course you managed to get one of THOSE mother in laws/great crazy aunt etc).
I often get asked to change the colour of my proof as it is 'not right'. I do change it so my clients can 'see' the 'right' colour, but then when it comes to print, I change it back again (unbeknownst to them) so it will print the right colour.
Why? I am going to strip it right down to basics for you.
You may have heard of the terms RGB and CMYK. They are different models that make up colour and there is whole science behind them. (I know right, who'd of thought science would come in handy after school).
Mostly and basically, your screens are RGB (RED, GREEN, BLUE) colour ways. Printed matter is CMYK (CYAN, YELLOW, MAGENTA, KEY - BLACK). But guess what?, our eyes see (human perception) in RGB. You can convert RGB colours to CMYK colours, but they might never be EXACTLY the same. Most designers use what is known as PANTONE swatches, which is a brand of colour. You may have heard of this too, but again, when you try and match these with CMYK printed matter, it may vary slightly as well.
And then, the RGB colour model on your screens, will give off different colour depending on various screen resolutions, pixels and all that other technological speak.
And then, as if our eyes aren't playing enough tricks on us, each different type of paper will print differently too. There are sooooo many types of different paper out there (that's a whole other post) and each one will print differently to the next. Try it your self, print the same file on copy paper and a thicker card, and see the difference.
And then, of course there is your printer. For the most part - for the purposes of what I print and what you might print at home, there's laser and there's inkjet. Each will print differently and again this is a whole other post. The brand will vary, as will the brand of ink you use.
So that's basic colour science 101. I guess the bottom line is TRUST your designer to get it right as you would have looked at inspiration and mood boards, ASK for a printed sample, or just KNOW that when you print your digital file, it may differ slightly from what you see on screen, and just be okay with that.
And if in doubt, order mostly black and white. Like these designs from the store.