Pantone Colours & Percentages
I'm new to the forum, but have been in the design industry for a good 5 years. I keep getting different opinions and answers from my printers (offshore, in china) and they aren't consistent in what they tell me.
So I thought I'd ask the question here, and completely try to understand the Pantone System.
My question is:
If I chose the following for an artwork to be printed on a tube, PMS226C, 50%PMS226C, 25%PMS226C, BLACK - Is this considered as 4 colours to a printer? Or considered as 2 colours?
I ask this because, it heavily affects the costs etc when another "spot colour" has been added. Please point me in the right direction/thread/post.
I don't know what printing process you're talking about, but with regards to sheetfed litho a tint of an existing spot colour is not another colour. A solid block of a PMS ink and a 50% tint (or whatever tint) are printed at the same time, from one plate. You could design two colour business cards, for example, and have multiple tints of one or both of the colours (or even have them overlapping to create new colours or duotones) and that still will only constitute a two-colour job.
But you say you're printing on a "tube"... there might be particular artwork requirements for this. Perhaps it requires printing the "tint" as a solid colour, in which case it would necessitate another colour/plate/screen/whatever.
As mentioned by LoneGoose if you wanted a 50 percent of 226 and for some reason they could not print a 50 percent screen they may have to use a solid of 225 which might be made of one part 226 to one part of transparent white to give it a look of a 50 percent screen. I dont have a pantone book in front of me but it may be done this way if it is not printed conventional
It's two colors. Period and regardless of process.
Reason is that is you look at a PMS formula book, what you'll see is that 226 is the primary color for its page. If you cut 226 in half with transparent white, you don't get 50% of 226, you get PMS 225. Similarly, if you cut it in half again, you don't get 25% of 226, you get PMS 224.
So, this would be a four color job if it called for 226, 225, and 224, which are here being reproduced with two colors by the screened values of 226.
Last edited by Correct Color; 11-19-2010 at 11:54 AM.
It may be that if you are creating (and naming) each of these tints as a spot colour in Indesign, then the Printers RIP may well interpret/render each colour as a separate spot colour.
If it's high quality the printer is trying to achieve and you are using the 25% spot colour on text or fine detail. The printer may mix a spot colour to 25% of the spot. So it is a solid colour and not a tint.
This would make your job 3 colour (2 spots and a black). I have heard some printers charging this as 4 colour to cover the hassle/mixing.
Spot color inks are different from halftone inks (like 4cp). The dot of a spot is made to distribute and spread after laid down whereas a halftone you want it to stop and avoid gaining. So you have very little control of the gain when trying to hold a halftone in a spot. So what the printer may be doing is using two different spots to achieve the different halftones of the PMS rather than relying on dot control which is subject to more interference.
I'm sorry but that is not correct.
Originally Posted by goin440
The dot of a spot color is not made to distribute and spread after being laid down.
You have just as much control of dot gain with a spot color as you do with a process color.
Where there may be a difference is that there are no standard dot gain targets for spot color inks. So you would either have to run a test to see what dot gain will occur, use past experience, or make an educated guess based on the formulation of the specific spot color.
best, gordon p
You can throw some halftone base at it and get it to hold a better dot, but depending on substrate and coverage I'd suggest testing. For instance, shake time to get the ink mixture to distribute the halftone base evenly throughout.
Originally Posted by gordo
Of course, different schools of printing will have different experiences too and we still don't know what type of printing is being done. I would imagine you are bringing litho experience whereas large format screen would be very different.
Remember the simple things, If the printer is converting the image/file you provided to a
4/c piece then yes its 4/c if not its 2 color. Sometimes to make screens print cleaner we will seperate them if a big solid invades the surrounding space of a screen using seperate plates provide better print quality.