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Real World Print Production with Adobe Creative Suite Applications by Claudia McCue

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Spot Colors

A spot color is used when it is necessary to print colors that fall outside the range of CMYK inks. While it’s obvious that inks such as fluorescent colors and metallics can’t be faithfully imitated by process colors, there are also some rather common colors that fall outside the CMYK universe, such as bright orange and navy blue: that’s why we need spot colors.

You’re probably familiar with the Color Formula Guides from Pantone® Inc. The terms spot color and Pantone are often used interchangeably, although that’s not strictly correct. The Pantone Matching System is a recipe book for printers, providing ink-mixing formulas for over 1,000 standard colors, many of which cannot be accurately rendered in process colors. While the name ...

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