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- 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
Skill Level Intermediate
Here's an image that I want to do a couple of special things to. First of all, I want to silhouette him, so that I get rid of this background. And then I want to add a spot varnish to him. So, an overall coating, would cover the whole printed sheet, but a spot varnish is going to be applied just where I specify. So, it's kind of a neat way to sort of, accentuate him so that he's separated out from the background. Not just by being silhouetted, but he'll have a little shine to him too. First of all, of course I need to sillouette him, I just happen to have a mask channel, so I'm going to load that mask channel. And my favorite way is to just drag it down to the little make a selection icon, now I have matching ants.
I'm going to go back to my Layers panel, and remember I have to turn him into a floating layer, so that I can apply that mask. When I double-click, click OK, now he's a floating layer. And since I already have my marching ants, all I have to do is come down here and click the Add Layer Mask icon, and there. Now he's silhouetted from the background. So, when I place him in Illustrator or InDesign, he's just going to float on top of whatever content is already there. And now I need to create that spot varnish, well when I go in to channels and I choose New Spot Channel. I don't want to use a Pantone color, because it's not going to be an ink, its going to be a varnish that's shaped, like the guy. So, frankly the color I apply really doesn't matter, its the name that's really important.
Now I always used sort of an ugly green, so that it was pretty obvious what was going on. But it's up to you, remember the color doesn't matter, the name does. So when I click OK, I don't want to call it Spot Color One, I'm going to call it Varnish. Now, the way you name this is important in a couple of different ways. Well for one thing, it helps you recognize what's going on here. But as you assemble this image into an existing project, as you bring it into, let's say InDesign, you want to make sure that you have consistent naming. So, if there were other images that you're creating spot varnishes for, you want to name it exactly the same. It wouldn't really matter what the color was, although I think it would be nice to be consistent, but it's going to be the naming that's important. So, if you have one image that has a spot varnish with a capital V, one has a lower case v, InDesign is actually going to see that as two separate varnishes, and you'd have to jump through some hoops to combine it. So just kind of establish a naming convention as you strike this out. And be sure to use it on every image.
So, now when I choose OK, and I turn on my Varnish, I don't see anything, because right now it's just empty. So, I need to fill just the area of the guy with a solid coverage for that Varnish.. So again, I'm going to load that knock out, there are my marching ants. I want to make sure that I'm in that varnish channel. Double check by turning off your CMYK, and then I'm going to fill it with black indicating solid coverage of that Varnish. Again, I like to turn my foreground color to whatever color I want to use it for fill.
Hit Option or Alt+delete there we go. Now when I turn back on the CMYK, you know he looks a little bit sickly, but its a great visual reminder that you have something else going on in addition to the image. I'm going to clean up my image a little bit by getting rid of that KO. If I ever needed it back I could reclaim it from that Varnish, or from my Layer mask. But now I have the guy floating on space, so that when he goes into InDesign, which is where I'm going to use him, he wont cover up anything that's underneath. And now I have my spot varnish. So, this is a really easy trick to do, frankly the hard part is creating the mask.
But you needed that anyway to silhouette it. So, just remember your names have to be consistent, so that when you assemble this into InDesign, that everything falls into place.
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