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In this Photoshop for Designers course, Nigel French focuses on the tools and features in Photoshop designed for choosing, applying, and editing color. The course looks at concepts such as the color wheel and color harmonies as well as the practicalities of using the Color Picker, leveraging the power of color channels, and the characteristics of different color modes in Photoshop. The course includes exercises on correcting color, enhancing color, shifting and replacing colors, working with spot color channels, hand coloring black and white images, and designing with a reduced color palette.
We can use Photoshop's Spot Color channels to extend our range of printing possibilities. Here, I want a really pink Cadillac, not just pink I want it to be honeysuckle pink. And to do that I'm going to need to use a fifth color, so this is going to print in CMYK plus PANTONE 205. Let's take a look at the Channels panel, and we can see that I have a Spot Color channel right there. I've already pre-prepared the alpha channel that will be converted to the Spot Color channel.
We're also going to need to add the text, if we want the text to be reproduced in our fifth, color we also need to add that to our Spot Color channel. Before I do any of this, I'm going to convert it to a CMYK image and ultimately I'm going to end up saving it as a Photoshop file or Photoshop DCS. Let's switch to the starting state, so here is my pink Cadillac I have on a separate layer, the text, which I've converted to a shape layer, so that we don't run into any missing font issues.
So what I'm going to do now is go to the Edit menu, I'm not going to go to the Image menu Mode > CMYK, but instead, I'm going to go to Edit > Convert to Profile. And the reason I'm doing that is so that I can preview the different results I would get with different rendering intents. The rendering intents essentially, if I can use an analogy are like the translation dictionaries that might be used to convert from one color space to another color space.
There is no right or wrong, there are ones that tend to work more often than others, and they're perceptual or relative colorimetric, but really you have to try them to see. And it actually turns out and that in this case, absolute colorimetric gives us a brighter result. There is one other thing that I need to pay careful attention to here, Flattened image to preserve Appearance. I do not want to flatten the image, because I'm going to need to work with this text, which is currently on a separate layer.
I needed to remain on a separate layer, so I'm going to uncheck that option. And then convert my image to CMYK so that we can see I now have Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black the channels, as well as my Alpha channel. I'm going to activate my Alpha channel, and then come to my Channels panel and choose New Spot Channel, click on the color swatch, choose the color that I want. It's remembering what I used last time, PANTONE 205, click OK, I can adjust the Solidity of that color, currently it says 0%, which is going to allow us to see the tonal values of the image beneath.
If I were to set it to set to 100%, you would have an area of flat color, so I'm going to leave it at 0. Now so far if I were to print this with honeysuckle pink of the type would be reproduced in CMYK inks, as opposed to a single premixed Pantone ink, and we want the latter to happen. So what I'm going to need to do is come to the Layers panel where we see the Shape layer that is our type, and I'm going to activate that by Command or Ctrl Clicking on it.
We can now turn off the layer, come to the Channels panel, make sure you're on the Spot Color channel and then I'm going to fill this area with black. So I need to make sure that black is my foreground color and I'll press Option or Alt and the Backspace/Delete key. So that's the result that I'm after. I'm now going to Save this and when I save it, I need to make sure that I'm retaining my Spot Colors, I also want to retain my Alpha channels and I'm saving it either in Photoshop or Photoshop DCS 2.0 format; I'm going to save it in Photoshop.
And just so that we don't overwrite the original, I'm going to append a different suffix to the file name. Now if I were to place this image in InDesign, here I am in a blank InDesign document and I'm going to press Command+D or Ctrl+D, I got to place. Choose my file; if we take a look at the Swatches panel, we can see that we have our Pantone color on the Swatches panel.
I'm not going to look at the Separations Preview. If you don't have your Separations Preview panel open, it's under Output, right there. I'm going to click on that and we can see that I have now five colors, and we can preview those colors individually or in combination, but the essential thing is that we're printing not just in CMYK, but in CMYK Plus PANTONE 205, made possible by the use of Spot Color channels.
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