Spot Colors

“In offset printing, a spot color is any color generated by an ink (pure or mixed) that is printed using a single run.”

In Design

You can designate colors as either spot or process color types, which correspond to the two main ink types used in commercial printing. In the Swatches panel, you can recognize the color type of a color using icons that appear next to the name of the color. When applying frames or colors to paths, use most belonging color mode to ensure the color.

Spot Colors

People tend to only use spot colors when the few colors are specified via client and when it is critical to have the exact same color. Spot color inks can accurately reproduce colors that are outside the Guam of process color. The color values of spot colors cannot by themselves determine if the color will be the exact same. The ink of the printer and type of paper have contribution towards how the actual color will turn out in terms of perfection. Its also recommended to keep the number of spot colors relatively low, due to the color palette and the ink needed for each individual color.

Process Colors

A process color is printed using a combination of the four standard process inks: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK). Process colors are used when individual spot inks would become expensive or not practical, instead using the cyan, magenta, yellow, and key. When it is really necessary to color more proportions of the page rather than smaller areas. When working on monitor versus printed work don’t specify a color on monitor, unless you have set up a proper color management system. The final colors will be viewed in CMYK format from RGB (red, green, blue) when printed, the conversions will differ based upon the color management system you have.

Using Spot and Process Colors together

Sometimes its the most appropriate to use the spot color and process colors together in certain documents. Such as for example, the exact color of a business logo and the rest of the document can be process colors, because they arent as important as the business logo. In other circumstances it would be best to either use the spot colors or the process colors to their own right. Never use spot colors for the majority of a large document because it will waste expensive ink, and never use process colors for specific colors, because due to printing press the color will vary.

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