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If you've never worked in the world of print, you may be surprised that there are process colors and spot colors. A process color is built up using process ink, such as CYMK, or Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. Whereas a spot color is made of premixed ink that is specially laid down in specific areas on the page. You might think of spot colors in terms of logos and other items that need to have thire exact color specified and reproduced. Whereas process colors are often used to build up a large number of colors, let's say in a photograph.
In QuarkXPress, the colors are most easily managed in the Colors palette. In this example, you can see that we have quite a few colors and on the right-hand side is a little icon. This icon indicates process, meaning it's built up from other inks. This icon indicates spot, meaning it's a premixed ink that's laid down all at once on the page. The most likely examples of spot colors that you're going to encounter are Pantone colors. These three greens are specific greens that were chosen from the palette of colors that Pantone provides to designers and to printers.
Again, to make sure that the exact color you're seeing is what's going to be printed on the page. Now, when I say the exact color you're seeing, I don't mean the exact color you're seeing on screen. I'm talking about the exact color you'll see in the little swatch book that Pantone sells and that little swatch is supposed to look just like it's going to look when it's on the paper on your finished project. Let's have a quick look at what the options are for process and spot colors. I'm going to Ctrl-click or right-click on one of these colors and choose Edit.
That will open the Edit Color dialog that allows me to name the color, choose the color model and see a preview of what that might look like. Let's look at what the color models available are. At the top, we have various ways of mixing colors yourself. There is RGB, HSB, LAB, CMYK, etcetera. You can use this slider to brighten them up and dial around here to choose the Hue that you would like. Some of the other color models down here are spot colors, for example Pantone Goe, either coated or uncoated.
Pantone metallics, pastels and solid are all spot colors, which one you choose depends on which fan book you have of swatches in your hand. Now, this color in particular happens to be as the Pantone solid matte number 371. But if you can just remember one thing about colors in not only QuarkXPress, but any kind of printing project, it's that there are process colors and spot colors. spot colors come from spot colors systems, such as Pantone that have pre-made and premixed colors that get laid down on the paper separate from any other colors you may be printing, whereas process colors are built up generally from Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, to generate all the different colors that you might be after in something such as a photograph.
If all you have to work with are the four process colors, I might recommend that you invest in a book that shows all the different color combinations that you can create with those process colors. A company called Tintbooks makes a really good one and they are tintbooks.com and by having those books in your hand, you're more likely to be able to select a color that's built up from CMYK and have the colors in your printed project look like what you think, they are going to look like.
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