Spot Colors from Photoshop

"How can I print spot colors from Photoshop?" has long been one of the most common questions we hear. Remember that Photoshop was originally designed to do process-color work (or continuous tone RGB output), not spot color overlays. The process of getting spot colors out of Photoshop isn't difficult, though it's not as simple as it should be, even in CS2. There are three ways to do spot-color work in Photoshop:

  • Use spot-color channels for all the spot-color image information, and save the file in DCS 2.0 or the native Photoshop (PSD) format. This feature lets you place spot colors in specific areas (like in text or in a logo).

  • Use the Duotone mode. Duotones (or tritones or quadtones) are used to print neutral grayscale images with two or more colors (we'll discuss why you'd want to do this later in this chapter).

  • Simulate spot colors in CMYK mode. You can use this technique for either duotones or specific-area spot colors.

Tip: Don't Pick Spot Colors

Note that choosing a Pantone (PMS) color from Photoshop's Color Picker and then painting with that color does not provide you with a spot-color ink. Rather, as you apply the "spot" color, it's actually being broken up into RGB or CMYK components. We've always felt that it was a particularly cruel joke by the programmers to offer people the chance to see and pick spot colors without also offering the opportunity to print these colors out on spot-color plates.

Tip: Bézier vs. Raster Spot Color

Photoshop can create vector artwork, but it can't yet apply spot colors to vectors, so any spot color you create here is going to be bitmapped. If you need crisp, high-resolution edges (like for text or a logo), you'll probably get a better result creating the spot-color art in a program like QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, or Macromedia FreeHand. (See Chapter 3, Image Essentials, for more on the difference between bitmapped and vector artwork.)

Real World Adobe Photoshop CS2(c) Industrial-Strength Production Techniques
Real World Adobe Photoshop CS2: Industrial-strength Production Techniques
ISBN: B000N7B9T6
Year: 2006
Pages: 220
Authors: Bruce Fraser © 2008-2017.
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