Spot or not?

I’m working on someone else’s Illustrator file of a flyer. It is made up of CMYK elements beside this one vector blue box. When I double click the swatch, the color type is Spot Color but the swatch name is a CMYK value.

Is this a Pantone or CMYK?

If it is truely a Pantone, how can I tell which one?

If it’s a CMYK, then why convert it to Spot?


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Id try to ask the person that made the file what they were intending before guessing. But If I had to guess, I’d expect it is supposed to be CMYK. Paying for an additional spot color just for a text box doesn’t seem logical.

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Considering 90% of the files I get are a mix of LAB, RGB, CMYK, and spot Pantones - all in one file - I’d agree with Silence. Up to a point.

The blue may actually be a spot pantone converted to CMYK in the ink manager or otherwise. That wouldn’t be any weirder than a spot CMYK value.

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If I were to send to the printer as is, would this blue box print?

If it is indeed a CMYK element, would it be problematic the fact that it’s assigned as a spot color?

Seems to me like it was done with a CMYK value, then switch it to a spot color. Is there a reason I am unaware for doing this?

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Without asking the designer, assume there is no good reason to do it. It could actually add an unnecessary plate if you are doing offset.

With digital, depends on the machine rip but most times they don’t recognize unknown spot color names and just print them as CMYK anyway. Wouldn’t hurt to change the radio button.
Check your overprint preview too.

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The blue box will print. What shade of blue you will receive? That’s the question. If it’s being printed 4 color process with Pantone Reflex blue item in there - That element will print as purple (More or less). If the CYMK build for that color is 100C - and any magenta value over 62-ish you run the risk of a purple-ish output.

If the job isn’t a color critical job, or the spot color object is trivial/non-critical object, you should be fine.
Can you extract the object and give me a look at it? I may be able to give you a better idea of it’s output.

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Thanks Biggs, but not worth the effort. I appreciate your offer.

The only reason I found why people would set up a file this is way is for complicated die lines. The die line would use a CMYK value that contrast from the rest, then switch it to a spot color so that it is on it’s own plate, one that should not print, and finally rename the swatch as dieline.

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Right, I was going to chime in on this, as I set die lines that way for labels all the time; not just complicated ones, simple ones too.

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By complicated, I meant anything that goes beyond simple crop marks for something square or recangular.

You guys use a spot plate for a die line?
I wouldn’t even think to look.
And would be likely to print it.
Now I know better.

We’d rather you put the path on a non-printing layer, preferably unfilled and unstroked (but they’re usually stroked.)

Yes, but not my idea. It’s the printers spec, and it’s not a cutter guide; they actually use it to make a drum die.

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This would work on an illustrator file or an EPS, but what if the printer wants a PDF?

Frankly speaking, it’s better to avoid it.

Another two year old thread. @sharpe1985 please watch your dates … no need to resurrect ancient threads :wink:

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