Why a Spot Color?
Spot colors tell the press operator there’s something different about a color, whether it’s a premixed PMS color, a specialty ink (such as White, Clear, Silver, or Gold), spot foiling, or something else. Spot colors also make it easier to know exactly where to perf, score, or die cut a piece.
How to set up a file with Spot Colors
Creating Different Layers
To avoid confusion, always create a new layer for unique spot colors. For instance, all spots that represent gold ink should stay together on a Gold layer. As should all foil spots, die lines, spot UV, and more. Note: You don’t need a separate layer for Pantone colors or non-specialty spot colors.
Choosing a Spot Color
Spot colors for specialty effects should be bold and obviously different from the rest of the piece. Try using orange for a graphic getting foiled or bright green for a section with spot gloss. Should a spot for a specialty color exist on or below another piece, always Multiply the top graphic.
Below are the CMYK values we prefer to use for our specialty ink colors:
- “White”: C100 M0 Y0 K0
- “Clear”: C0 M100 Y0 K0
- “Silver”: C49 M39 Y39 K3
- “Gold”: C45 M45 Y74 K17
Creating a New Swatch
- Window > Swatches > New Swatch
- Select Color Type > Spot
- Name according to the effect type and match to the layer name.
- Choose a bold color.
- Window > Color > Swatches > Options ( ) > New Color Swatch
- Follow same guidelines as Illustrator
- Window > Channels
- Select New Spot Channel
- Click the color box to open the Color Picker
- Choose a bold color or select from Color Libraries and click OK
- Name according to the effect type, and change Solidity to 100%
Download the Guide