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Old 02-18-2009, 01:37 PM   #1
Omek
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Default CMYK spot color and Pantone Spot Color

I'm fairly new to the print design world, so I hope this isn't a dumb question.

Why can you designate a CMYK color swatch as a spot color in CS3 apps? Isn't CMYK always a 4-color process? That doesn't make sense to me. I understand that Pantone spot colors are specially-made inks that are universal wherever you have your files printed and that they are printed using a separate plate.

But what would be the need for making a CMYK spot?

Thank you,
Toby
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Old 02-20-2009, 03:10 PM   #2
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Toby:

Quote:
Why can you designate a CMYK color swatch as a spot color in CS3 apps? Isn't CMYK always a 4-color process?
I am not a printer, but a spot colour does't have to be Pantone, though it's easiest to specify; but it can also be specified by its colour coordinates.

   
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Old 02-23-2009, 02:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omek View Post
But what would be the need for making a CMYK spot?
Usually none whatsoever! These days most colour printing is process.

Welcome to the forum, by the way!

   
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:40 PM   #4
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I personally like this feature when I use the same CMYK color on various items in a document. If I need to change/tweak the color later on, I just edit the spot swatch and every occurance of the color is affected. Works on lighter opacities of said spot color and gradients containing it too.

   
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Old 02-28-2009, 05:05 AM   #5
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If I need to change/tweak the color later on, I just edit the spot swatch and every occurance of the color is affected
You can have the same flexibility by designating the colour a Global colour. My point was it's generally silly for the program to assume that users want all new colour swatches to be spot, because the vast majority of colour print jobs these days are all in Process.

   
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:03 PM   #6
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"Why can you designate a CMYK color swatch as a spot color in CS3 apps?"
It would be a good way to fix thin text (body text) that someone had incorrectly spec'd for process color. If you spec bpdy copy in process colors, and the press cannot hold "zero" registration, the text becomes a shoddy blur.

The simplest fix is to convert that text to a spot color, and if the job is already running on a 5 or 6 color press (4 color presses being low end for many years now) the incremental cost is very slight.

Many "4 color" presses are 6 color these days, to allow for a varnish or other special effects, including that spot color.
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:15 PM   #7
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That is unless the job is an advert being printed in a magazine or even a 4 colour digital job

Peter
But you did make your point well
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:53 PM   #8
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Peter, there's no "unless" here. The OP asked what that function could be useful for, and I said what it could be useful for.

Whether it has any use for a particular job, has absolutely no bearing on whether it has any use as a function in the program.
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:20 PM   #9
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Default Thank you!

Thanks everyone for all the responses. I think I understand now. I always use the global color feature as well. The spot CMYK color option was bothering me, so I just wanted to find out why one would need to use it.
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:32 PM   #10
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You aren't the first one to be confused with it. Long ago and far away, I was about to send a job out for films when I noticed it would run FORTY black plates, each a different gray tint. Called the artist, confirmed it was just supposed to be a 4-color job. Saved them a fortune by not running the 40 "gray" percents they had in the job as separate plates.
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