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  • Spot color printing versus CMYK

    I just had a talk with my local printer to ask if they do spot color printing in addition to the usual process colors. The vague answer was yes, but they told me it costs the same to do it. Interesting to hear, since it's my understanding that spot colors are generally cheaper than CMYK...

    I'm pretty new to the print side of the business, so I have to ask these things. Do all printers as a rule accomodate spot color printing? I haven't found one yet that does spot colors cheaper than CMYK.

    I'm having trouble getting information on how I should accomodate spot colors in Illustrator, Photoshop, etc. when the opportunity presents itself to use them. I understand a lot of printers have a swatch library that they can share with you to best accomodate their printing. Is there any truth to this?


    [Btw, this is the same printer I applied for a couple of months back and didn't get the job. The guy I talked to wasn't terribly polite and I think he's probably the person who did get the job. So blah. Sounded kinda gay, too. Not that there's anything wrong with that.]
    Creativity is taking what is and bringing in what isn't.

  • #2
    lemme see the file.
    *edit* It really depends on the number of spot colors, and the complexity of the file.
    Some advice is profound, some is clever. The above post is a good example of both.
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    • #3
      Are talking about four-color press and spot color on press? Or spot color press versus digital press?
      Less be more.

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      • #4
        typically spot color printing is cheaper cause your using one or 2 colors as oppossed to 4 colors (talking the actual ink here). Trapping is a bigger issue but not as much today as in the past.

        the swtach library you are most likely talking about is the Pantone Library. do you have a guide in your office? there are other libraires but this is the mst common one used.

        I would say all printers do spot color, there are actually some that only do spot color (like mine here on campus).
        "Even when I'm not at 100%, I'm still 110% better then anyone else!"

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        • #5
          Spot color inks are more expensive than cmyk inks. But a spot color job can be cheaper than 4/cp. for example if it's a 2spot color job then the printer only needs to produce 2 films and 2 plates for press. If the printer is using direct to plate than its only 2plates no film. If it's 4/cp than double the amount of materials. As far as spot colors in illustrator or PS these programs have Pantone libraries in them. You should get yourself a pantone book.
          WYSIWYG

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          • #6
            Spot color can be expensive depending on the ink what the printer uses.
            Less be more.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by defjoe
              typically spot color printing is cheaper cause your using one or 2 colors as oppossed to 4 colors (talking the actual ink here). Trapping is a bigger issue but not as much today as in the past.

              the swtach library you are most likely talking about is the Pantone Library. do you have a guide in your office? there are other libraires but this is the mst common one used.

              I would say all printers do spot color, there are actually some that only do spot color (like mine here on campus).
              What would drive the price up would be 4/cp+spot colors. Also we consider varnishes as a extra color because of additional plates needed.
              WYSIWYG

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              • #8
                even on a CMYK press you can run a four spot job ..just means cleaning and running new inks is all.
                It's not about the world of design.
                It's about the design of the world.
                Massive Change

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by PersonasBinar
                  even on a CMYK press you can run a four spot job ..just means cleaning and running new inks is all.
                  That's true. You can put anything in the ink well. Often times we will recieve a job with a large solid spot color on it. Even though it's one color we may add a 60% second hit of that color to make a nice solid at no extra charge.
                  WYSIWYG

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                  • #10
                    I've had users design the spot in CYAN@100... re: PUBLISHER users pre-pantone support
                    It's not about the world of design.
                    It's about the design of the world.
                    Massive Change

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                    • #11
                      One thing to consider when you're planning a spot color job and what application to build it in. If it's a 2 or 3 color job, built in PSD, using the CMYK channels to build it. The press doesn't give a squirrels peanut what color you build the file in, as long as it separates correctly. And you can make it easier on yourself (and, ok, the prepress guy) by using the 4 process channels instead of struggling with spot colors in PSD. The drawback is that the client will have trouble visualizing the spot colors!!
                      People tell me "Have a Good One!' Hell, I already have a good one, I just need a BIGGER one! - George Carlin

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rickself
                        One thing to consider when you're planning a spot color job and what application to build it in. If it's a 2 or 3 color job, built in PSD, using the CMYK channels to build it. The press doesn't give a squirrels peanut what color you build the file in, as long as it separates correctly. And you can make it easier on yourself (and, ok, the prepress guy) by using the 4 process channels instead of struggling with spot colors in PSD. The drawback is that the client will have trouble visualizing the spot colors!!
                        What rick is saying is if you picked 3 spot color- Pantone Moe, Pantone Larry and Pantone Curly and used Magenta,black,Cyan and if it seperates correctly, the printers will assign Moe, Larry, and Curly to your process colors. It's all about seperations. Yep Yep Yep
                        WYSIWYG

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                        • #13
                          Soitenly!! Now yer speaking Stoogese...somethin we can ALL understand. Nyuk nyuk nyuk.
                          People tell me "Have a Good One!' Hell, I already have a good one, I just need a BIGGER one! - George Carlin

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                          • #14
                            Just don't pick Pantone Shemp...it will never print right!
                            People tell me "Have a Good One!' Hell, I already have a good one, I just need a BIGGER one! - George Carlin

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                            • #15
                              Is the printer a large format vendor?
                              Then spot colors and CMYK colors do cost about the same. Actually, we can't hit CMYK specs so it can cost more to nail your CMYK color build without a spot reference.

                              Comment

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