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Designers and printers discovered long ago that if they were printing with two or three inks such as with Pantone Spot Colors, they could expand that number of potential colors by printing different tints of those colors on top of each other. For example, in this document I have created a Pantone 361 swatch and I have added it to various objects in this document. In this case, I have even made this one 50% of that Pantone color. Now we already know how to make a tint build of different processed colors. Just create a new swatch with some cyan, yellow, magenta, or black, all mixed together. But how do we mix one or more spot colors? For that, you will need to use a mixed ink swatch and you can get that by going to the Swatches panel flyout menu and choosing New Mixed Ink Swatch. In order to mix two colors together, just click in their Add Ink column. I am going to mix together Black and Pantone 361. Next, use the sliders or type in the values that you want. Let's say, I want something with 50% 361 and maybe about 20% Black. It's a good idea to give it a name, which is more descriptive than just Mixed Ink.
So I am going to say 20k and 50 of pms361. You can type anything you want in here. But that tells me immediately what I am going to get. I will click OK. It adds it to the bottom of our Swatch panel, and then I can apply it to this object. Oops, I have applied it to the wrong object. Better undo that. Cmd+Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows. Grab the right object and click on it, terrific. Now notice the Swatches panel actually shows me a slightly different icon there to the right of the name. It's a Mixed Ink Swatch and it looks like two drops of ink mixing together. I can also see that I am getting a tint of that Mixed Ink Swatch because up here at the top of the Swatches panel, it says 50%. So I better fix that by setting this to a full 100% of that Mixed Ink Swatch.
There we go. That looks better. If I decide that I don't like the mix, it's easy to edit it. Just right-click on it and choose Swatch Options. That's Ctrl-click with a one-button mouse. Now I can come in here. And let's do a little bit more of green, little bit less black, and I can update the amounts here, just so that their name. I wish that it would automatically name it with the color value but it can't do that for some reason, which is really frustrating. Let's go ahead and click OK and it updates it. I typed it in, updates the name, updates it on the file, and it looks pretty good. Now here is the thing, if you are working on a document and you need a lot of mixed inks, you don't want to make them one at the time. It will be really annoying to have to make 15 different mixed inks swatches of different values of that Pantone color and Black. So Adobe added a feature, really cool feature, here in the Swatches panel flyout menu called the New Mixed Ink Group where it will actually mix these things for you.
Let's take a look at that. I will select that. I will give it a name. I am going to call it 361 plus Black. And now I will add my two colors by clicking in the Add Ink column next to those colors. And now I have got this very strange and non-intuitive set of field that I need to fill out. Here is what I usually do. I just have some standard values I usually type in here. I usually type 0 for the Initial for Black, and then I am going to repeat it 3 times, and I am going to Increment it by 20%. Then for the Pantone Color, I am going to use 20 for the Initial, and then do 4 of those, and Increments of 20.
Now what does this mean? This means that when I start, the first Swatch is going to be 0% black and 20% Pantone 361. Then I am going to get 40% Pantone 361, then 60%, then 80%, and then it's going to start adding some black into it. I will start getting 20% black plus 20% 361, and then 20% black plus 40% 361. You see what it's doing? It's slowly incrementing and giving me a whole bunch of different mixed ink swatches. And the best thing to do next is to preview those swatches by clicking on the Preview Swatches button. I can see that I am going to get 20 different mixed ink swatches when I click OK. And that's pretty good. Sometimes I will make a mistake in here and it will say swatches to be generated 200, or 1000, or something and I realize that something went terribly wrong and I better rework these numbers. But 20 is not too bad and I can actually see the names of them here. I can see that it names them really dumb names, 361 plus Black Swatch 16. It won't really tell me what that value is at this point but at least I can see how many swatches I am going to get. Great, let's click OK, and all those mixed ink swatches are added to my Swatches panel.
The nice thing here is I can see what this value is going to be by hovering my cursor on top of it. So this is going to be the 40% of that of each of those. Next one down is 40% black and 50% of 361, this one is 40% plus 80%, and so on, and so on. So now I can start applying these throughout my document. For example, I will select that text up here and why not we do a nice dark one of that, kind of a mix of black and the 361. And I could do the same thing to these headings here or select this object here; maybe I want that to be a little bit lighter. How about a mix of that? So you can go through, you can have a nice wide range of colors. And one of the coolest parts about this is that if our Pantone colors later change, it's really easy to update in here as well. For example, I could come back here and double-click on the Group Swatch at the top. This first one here, the one that has this little ink Plus icon is the group leader as it were. And if I double click on that, it lets me choose which colors are mixed in this mixed ink group. So I can choose Black plus that. Or if I had other Pantone colors, I could choose them out of this pop-up menu as well.
Of course, there are some cautions here that I should point out. For example, spot colors don't always mix as well as processed color inks, especially fluorescent and metallic inks. Also, you really can't trust spot colors that you see on screen even in a color- managed environment. The only way to get an accurate proof of a spot color is to see it on press. Nevertheless, if you are using any kind of spot color, you owe it to yourself to checkout mixed ink swatches and get a wider range of colors. Speaking of a wider range of colors, that's what we will look at in the next movie too, when we tackle printing Duotones.
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