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When you're working with just two colors, it can seem like you have a very limited palette to work with. Here, I've created a gradient that goes from a spot color to black. But you can see how anemic it looks and it's sort of grayed out in the middle. Let's take a look at separations, an this'll give you a better idea of what's going on. When I go to Window > Output > Separations Preview, and then turn ns. I get a truer look at what's going to print and it's still not good enough. If I turn off the 187 you can see that the black starts at 100% at the top and it fades off to the bottom. And then the red, the 187, is doing the opposite.
So, as they fade out, it gets very weak in the middle of this gradient. So to strengthen this and to make a much more attractive gradient, I'm going to use a great feature in InDesign called Mixed Ink Swatches. In the Swatches panel- Go to the Panel menu, and I choose this, New Mixed Ink Swatch. What this lets me do is combine a spot color and a process color, or several spots and several process colors. And this can be a great way to extend at least the illusion that you have a larger spectrum to work with in a two-color job.
So this'll just be my black plus 187, and I'm going to add 100% of my 187 To 100% black, and you can see here that I could have less then 100%, and keep this in the back of your mind. When you're working on jobs that involve spot colors, especially if you're working on a two color job, this can make it look like you have more crayons to work with. So I'm going to click OK, you can see that new little icon there that tells me that this is a Mixed Ink Swatch. And now, I'm going to use that to modify my gradient. So, instead of having just black all by itself for this stop, I'm going to change that so that it uses that black plus 187. And immediately you can see the change in that gradient. I'll click okay.
And anytime you're using spot colors, it's always a good idea to double check- By going into separations preview an turning on separations, because that turns on overprint preview. An we already know that we just have two colors, but keep that in mind to, even if you aren't going to wake up that Separations panel. Up under View, and it's the first item so it's easy to overlook, Overprint Preview gives you a truer rendition of color onscreen. And especially, if you're using blending modes or anything like that with spot colors, again, it gives you a truer rendition of what you're doing and you have a better idea of how this is going to print.
So in the future, when you're working on two-colored jobs and it seems to you that you're very limited in your range. Remember this, you can create mixed ink colors and you can greatly extend, what you can do in that project.
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