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Print Production Essentials: Spot Colors and Varnish
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating a varnish


From:

Print Production Essentials: Spot Colors and Varnish

with Claudia McCue

Video: Creating a varnish

In this project, I'd like to accentuate the flower shapes and the little ampersand, but I don't want to have those components compete with the type. I don't want to make them darker. So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to apply a spot varnish. First, I'm going to create the varnish color. Now, there isn't a varnish, book. So there really isn't any place you can pick an existing varnish color from. You just make your own. So here in the Color panel, I tend to like to make them bright green just because I think it makes it obvious that it's not part of the real artwork, that it's something separate. It's up to you what color you pick.
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  1. 2m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      33s
    3. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 19m 15s
    1. Why spot colors are necessary
      2m 32s
    2. Examples of spot color impact
      1m 45s
    3. Spot or process: Making the decision
      5m 31s
    4. Choosing a spot color
      4m 11s
    5. About the new Pantone Plus color system
      5m 16s
  3. 13m 23s
    1. How spot color inks are created
      6m 8s
    2. Considerations when using certain spot colors
      2m 35s
    3. Effects of stock on color
      2m 6s
    4. Proofing spot and special-mix colors before printing
      1m 0s
    5. Spot colors and digital printing
      1m 34s
  4. 5m 5s
    1. How spot varnishes can enhance a project
      1m 10s
    2. How varnishes, inks, and substrate interact
      2m 30s
    3. Combining different types of varnish to add dimensions
      35s
    4. Aqueous flood coatings
      50s
  5. 28m 26s
    1. Creating a multitone image (duotone and tritone)
      10m 59s
    2. Creating a simple spot color channel
      6m 30s
    3. Creating a touch plate to enhance a color image
      7m 25s
    4. Creating a spot varnish
      3m 32s
  6. 23m 14s
    1. Adding Pantone color swatches
      5m 18s
    2. Using Overprint Preview to proof the display of spot color transparency
      2m 58s
    3. 3D shading: Preview with overprint on
      2m 22s
    4. Converting spot colors to process
      3m 11s
    5. Creating a varnish
      5m 52s
    6. Creating spot gradients
      3m 33s
  7. 17m 44s
    1. Importing art containing spot color content and resolving issues with Ink Manager
      4m 28s
    2. Using Overprint Preview to proof the display of spot color transparency
      2m 30s
    3. Converting spot colors to process
      2m 29s
    4. Creating a spot varnish
      5m 35s
    5. Creating and using mixed inks
      2m 42s
  8. 7m 10s
    1. Examining with Output Preview
      4m 11s
    2. Using preflight profiles
      2m 59s
  9. 1m 9s
    1. What I hope you've learned in this course
      51s
    2. Next steps
      18s

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Print Production Essentials: Spot Colors and Varnish
1h 58m Intermediate May 09, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

While most printing today is accomplished via a four-color process, there is a wide range of practical and creative options available when you add an additional color or varnish. This course teaches how these additional colors are made and shows some examples of finished projects that use these colors. Author Claudia McCue also dives directly into Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and other creative apps and shows how to build documents correctly for printing.

Topics include:
  • Why spot colors are necessary
  • Making a decision between spot and process colors
  • Choosing a spot color
  • Understanding the effects of stock on color
  • Printing spot colors digitally
  • Using varnishes
  • Creating a multi-tone image in Photoshop
  • Adding Pantone color swatches to Illustrator
  • Creating spot varnishes in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign
  • Using preflight profiles in Acrobat
Subjects:
Design Print Production Design Skills
Software:
Acrobat Illustrator InDesign Photoshop
Author:
Claudia McCue

Creating a varnish

In this project, I'd like to accentuate the flower shapes and the little ampersand, but I don't want to have those components compete with the type. I don't want to make them darker. So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to apply a spot varnish. First, I'm going to create the varnish color. Now, there isn't a varnish, book. So there really isn't any place you can pick an existing varnish color from. You just make your own. So here in the Color panel, I tend to like to make them bright green just because I think it makes it obvious that it's not part of the real artwork, that it's something separate. It's up to you what color you pick.

I'm going to add it to the Swatches panel and I'm going to name it varnish and by the way, if I were going to incorporate this with other pieces of artwork. And in InDesign file, I have to make sure that that word varnish is spelled the same and capitalized the same, so that InDesign understands that's all one varnish. If there's any difference in the name, even capitalization, it thinks, oh, there's two varnishes. And of course I want it to be a spot color. And again, this build doesn't matter. The color mode really doesn't matter, although if I change it to RGB maybe it will render a little brighter on screen, and be a little more obvious. By the way, you may notice this little triangle with the alert in it is just saying well, we can't really do that in process, we're warning you, that's okay. I'm going to create a separate layer for my varnish, you don't have to but I just sort of like to keep things separate, just so it's easier to keep track of things.

So I'm going to make a new layer and I'm just going to name it varnish. Because I want the shape of the varnish to correspond to the shapes that are already in the page, half my work's really done. So I'm going to select this flower and I'm going to shift click to get this. Now, these are grouped together, the text and the ampersand, but that's actually going to help me with a little problem that I need to fix. In order to duplicate, I'm just going to hold down Option or Alt and I'm going to drag that little square from layer one up into the varnish layer. And you'll notice that the handles change color, and the selections change color to sort of ear mark it as being now on layer varnish.

When I turn off varnish It goes away when I turn off layer one and turn back on varnish you can see that, that artwork's been duplicated. Always good to double check. So I'm going to select the big flower and I'm going to change its color to varnish. Now the big flower is actually using a 50% tint of the spot color but I don't want 50% of the varnish I want solid varnish. But you'll notice that when I apply the varnish color it takes on that percentage. So I need to remember to come up to color and drag that up to 100. Now for Hansel and petal, where that overlaps, I only want the varnish where you see blue now. So I want it just to correspond to the little flower shape. I don't want varnish on the letters.

So I need to knock out the varnish. I need to make sure that varnish doesn't happen there. So I'm just going to double click, to put myself in Isolation mode. I love Isolation mode, select the text, come to the Swatches panel, and fill the text with white. Now white in Illustrator doesn't mean white ink, it means, well, it means no ink prints here. So, now, you can see that's exactly the shape I want in my varnish, I don't want it going into the letters, and covering up parts of the letters. I'm going to hit escape to exit my isolation mode. I'm going to select this shape, double click to get in to isolation mode and get this and I'm going to apply that spot ddvarnisj again. And as you saw with the big flower, it's taking on the tint value, so I want to make that 100%.

Hit escape. And then get my other little piece. The little ampersand by double clicking again. I could've also said select All Same Fill Color. That would work too. Back again, apply the varnish, change that from 40% to 100. And now, I think I'm good to go, except for one thing. So let me show what happens if we don't change an attribute of that varnish. Remember that one of your most valuable forensic tools in Illustrator is overprint preview, coupled with separations preview. So I'm going to go to Window>Separations Preview.

And it doesn't activate separations preview unless you turn on overprint preview. So, again, you get a better view of what your color is. But this is pretty important. If I turn off varnish. Hey, what happened to my blue? Knocked it all out. By default fill colors in Illustrator are opaque. So they get rid of whatever's underneath. So if we were to image this job, the way it is now, we wouldn't have the blue in the ampersand, and the two flowers. So we need to do something special to these varnish shapes. So I'm going to select this one, And go to select same fill color.

So then I have all the little varnish shapes and I'm going to set them to over print. And here's where you do that. Under window an attributes. And this is one of those things that's sort of hiding down in the corners. Look little tiny checkbox over print fill. An now you can see a change in the color and the reason is now it's showing you that green. Coupled with the blue of the artwork underneath. And we can double check by looking here in Separations Preview. If it hasn't knocked out, when we turn off the little eyeball by varnish, the blue is still there. So remember this, any time you create a varnish, be consistent with the name If it's going to be combined with other components in InDesign later on. And also remember to take those varnish shapes, and always set their attribute to overprint.

So a little reminder, because it's not a panel you use very often. It's under Window, which is where all panels are, Attributes, and Overprint Fill. Now, these shapes don't have strokes on them, but just for future reference, if you ever need to do that to a stroke There it is, overprint stroke. And that's one of the main jobs in the Attributes panel, is just set things to overprint. So now, I know that this is built correctly, I have my little spot varnishes, and when this job is printed, and the varnish is applied, those little areas are going to be a little shinier, and so it's just going to sort of call attention to them. It just sort of emphasizes them.

It's a subtle way without changing colors to call attention to certain important spots in a design.

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