What is Spot Colour?


New Member
Spot Colour is used by actually mixing ink to the desired colour rather than using the CMYK process to achieve it. The printer will mix varying amounts of colour to reach the correct consistency and then this is printed directly onto the document.

Its not un-common to see a ‘full colour’ print job having an additional spot colour or ‘special’ as its known added to it either during the actual printing process or added after in a sepearte process. Some large printing machines have an additional facility for this, taking form a 4 colour machine to a 5th or 6th colour machine, so they are able to print the whole document using full colour and two spot colours in one pass.

Spot colour is common when metallic colours are required, whereby they will not be achievable using the CMYK process.

Danny Molt is an avid writer and follower of the developments in Leaflet Printing and Printing Services
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You will also see a lot of companies have 2 colour logos which can be printed on 2 colour press in spot colours. Most of these are spot colours to ensure consistency as you can get variable results (not bad) from 4 colour process. If you are designing for print then I'd recommend that you have a pantone swatch book so you can see the spot colours on how they look on coated and uncoated and also how the spot colour will look when reproduced in 4 colour process. If you don't have one then pop into your friendly printer if you need to check a particular colour and they should be able to help.