PSD: Printing spot colors

20 January, 2012



01. What is Spotcolor?
02. How do i create Spotcolors in photoshop?
03. I have alpha channel can i convert that into Spotcolor?
04. How to convert my selection to spotcolor?
05. What is the best color for Spotcolor?
06. What Solidity do?
07. Is there any problem will happen if don’t name the Spotcolor?
08. Can i paint my spot channel?
09. How to Merge spot channels?
10. What happen to layers if i merge the spot channel.
11. What happen if two spot color overlaps?
 
01. What is Spotcolor?
Spotcolor are special premixed inks used instead of, or in addition to the process color (CMYK) inks. Spotcolor generally goes in a single run in the commercial printer and you need extra plate apart from CMYK. Spotcolors are used to match the particular color (A company Logo or a stickers).

02. How do i create Spotcolors in photoshop?
Two ways you can create a Spotcolor in photohsop, go to your channels panel menu in channels panel and select ‘New Spot Channel’ or hold ‘Ctrl’ and click on the Create new channel in the bottom of the channel’s panel.
 
03. I have alpha channel can i convert that into Spotcolor?
Yes you can, double click on the Alpha channel to bring up the ‘Channel Options’ dialogue box and in the color indicates settings select ‘Spot Color’.

Or, select the alpha channel you want to convert and go to Channels Panel Menu and select ‘Channel Options’, which brings up the same dialogue box.

04. How to convert my selection to spotcolor?
Once the selection is active hold ‘Ctrl’ and click on the Create new channel at the bottom of the channel’s panel to convert the selection into a spotcolor.

Or, with the selection active go to channels panel menu and select New Spot Channel.

05. What is the best color for Spotcolor?
You can select any color from the color picker, but if you select a cutom color by going to color library and selecting a color, your printer service provider can easily provide the proper color.

When you select a custom color and click OK, the custom color name displays on the ‘Spot Channel Option’ in the Name box.

06. What Solidity do?
Solidity will simulate on-screen density of the printed color, more like a opacity in the layer panel. A 100% is full color and 0 % is transperancy of the spot color. It only affects on-screen display preview and composite prints. They have no effect on the printed separations.

07. Is there any problem will happen if don’t name the Spotcolor?
If you want other application to read your color then you need to name them properly otherwise the file does not print at all.

08. Can i paint my spot channel?
Yes, you can use any editing tool to paint on the spot channel. Black adds more color at 100% and white removes the color and painting with Gray with have lower opacity.

Opacity of your editing tool affects the original printed output and not just on-screen display.

09. How to Merge spot channels?
Select the spot color channel and go to channels panel menu and choose ‘Merge Spot Channel’, but remember merging spot channel will remove the spot channel and the spot color is added to your composite channel.

The merged channel might not give you precise output result, because CMYK cannot produce the range of spotcolor from the spot color ink.

10. What happen to layers if i merge the spot channel.
Your layers will be flatten out completely, when you choose merge spot channel, you will get a warning dialogue box saying ‘Flattern Layer?’.

11. What happen if two spot color overlaps?
You can select the spot color which you want to print, Select > Load Selection. And you can select the underlying spot channel and press Delete.

If you want to create a trap when knocking out the underlying spot color, choose Modify > Expand or Contract depending on the overlapping spotcolor darker or lighter than the spot color beneath it.

If you have more than one spot color channel then repeat the same process for all the underlying spot channels.

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