Difference between Spot color and Process Color Printing

Color printing on paper employs two distinct methods: spot color and process color. Spot color entails applying a pre-mixed ink directly to the page, ideal for situations requiring specific hues. On the other hand, process color utilizes four or more standard ink colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) in fine screens, producing a vast array of colors suitable for printing photographs and intricate images.

In some instances, a single document may incorporate both spot color and process color. For example, a company brochure might feature color photos (process color) and a corporate logo (spot color). Spot color, identified by systems like the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM, is preferred for documents with a limited color palette, such as newsletters and brochures. It is also used for precise color matching.

Spot colors, created without screens or dots as seen in the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM, are considered solid colors. Pantone provides a palette of 18 basic colors, each mixed according to a unique formula. Ink manufacturers, licensed by Pantone, submit color samples annually for approval. Printers can order colors by number or mix them using the formula in a PANTONE FORMULA GUIDE. The guide, featuring 2,390 PANTONE PLUS Colors, distinguishes between coated (C) and uncoated (U) paper stocks.

The PROCESS COLOR method involves using CMYK inks (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) to create a multitude of colors. In this four-color process, a file is separated into the four colors, and screen tints with small dots are applied at various angles. The separations are transferred to printing plates, each for one color, and run through a printing press, creating the illusion of continuous tone. Process colors are represented as percentages, offering a wide range of color possibilities. This method is commonly used for reproducing photographs and allows for the creation of decorative elements without the need for extra plates.

In conclusion, Pro Custom Box stands as your trusted partner in transforming packaging into a powerful brand statement. At Pro Custom Box, whether your preference is for Process Color or Spot Color, we are dedicated to achieving perfection tailored to your specific needs.