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Commercial printing II: Publisher and color printing

Publication with one spot-color ink and grey-scale halftone photographs

Use spot-color printing if your budget allows for only black ink and one spot-color ink.

Spot-color printing is done on a press that uses one or more pre-mixed inks, usually opaque black for text and halftones and one other color for highlights. Spot-color printing is the least expensive because the amount of work the printer has to do to set up the print job is less than what is needed for process color printing.

Spot-color printing works like this:

Callout 1 Typically in a spot-color printing job, the text and any photographs are printed with black ink. Photographs are always limited to grey-scale halftones.
Callout 2 The color highlights are printed using the spot-color ink.

If your budget only allows for using black ink and one spot-color ink, you can still get a multicolor effect by using tints. For example, if the spot-color ink you use is a dark shade of green, you could use it for page elements such as headlines, rules, or picture borders. You can use a tint, or percentage of it, for other page elements such as fills for text boxes and decorative highlights.

Need full color? Process-color printing may be the way to go. See what you think.

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