Skip to main content

Work with spot colours and special finishes

Screened in combination, the four inks of process printing - cyan, magenta, yellow and black - can create the illusion of a wide range of colours. But CMYK cannot reproduce large parts of the visible spectrum, such as very bright colours. After all, these four inks can only reflect light, not emit it.

To get around this limitation, many presses can print additional colours using specially mixed 'spot' inks. One of the most popular choices of spot colour is fluorescent orange (seen on newsstands every day), but you can order just about any mix you like, from metallic finishes to saturated pastels. You can even print using a clear varnish instead of ink, adding lustre to localised areas of the layout.

This project demonstrates how to manage special colours in an Adobe InDesign layout, even when those specials are embedded within placed Illustrator and Photoshop graphics.

Click here to download the tutorial for free

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of six full-time members of staff: Editor Kerrie Hughes, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, and Staff Writer Amelia Bamsey, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.