|Recognizing the differences of Printing colors.
Colors created without screens or dots, such as those found in the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM®, are referred to in the industry as spot or solid colors. From a palette of 14 basic colors, each of the spot colors in the PANTONE MATCHING System is mixed according to its own unique ink mixing formula developed by Pantone. You probably mixed yellow and blue paint to get green in your youth. Creating a PANTONE Spot color is similar in concept, but with the added need for precision.
The precision begins with the printing ink manufacturers who are licensed by Pantone to manufacture inks for mixing PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM Colors. To retain their license, they must annually submit samples of the 14 basic colors for approval by Pantone. Printers can then order the colors by number or mix it themselves according to the ink mixing formula in a PANTONE® FORMULA GUIDE. A PANTONE Chip supplied with the ink and/or job ensures that the printer achieves the color desired by the customer.
During separation, screen tints comprised of small dots are applied at different angles to each of the four colors. The screened separations are then transferred to four different printing plates, one for each color, and run on a printing press with one color overprinting the next. The composite image fools the naked eye with the illusion of continuous tone.
Process colors are represented as percentages of cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Varying the percentages offers thousands of color possibilities. When four-color process printing is used to reproduce photographs, decorative elements such as borders and graphics can be created out of process colors. This helps to avoid the added expense of an extra plate needed for printing each spot color.
Converting spot colors to process colors.