Spot Color

As a spot color inks are called, that do not belong to the CMYK color space, but are printed as a real color in an additional inking. The most important representatives are PANTONE, HKS and TOYO colors.

As a bright CMYK Red is produced by overprinting 100% Magenta and 100% Yellow inks, a spot color, such as PANTONE Warm Red is printed as a real color in its own inking unit, and therefore can achieve a higher color gamut than the mixed CMYK colors. Luminous colors like Pantone 811 or metallic colors like silver and gold can only be reproduced by spot colors.

The disadvantage of spot colors is in the higher costs. A booklet with a PANTONE spot color and colorful images has to be printed using 5 colors: CMYK plus PANTONE red. This requires 5 printing plates and a printing machine with 5 color stations. The advantage of higher color space is so often contrary to the disadvantage of the higher cost.

Spot colors can be reproduced very well in modern proofing systems. The color variations of the proofs of are published here and mostly reflect the PANTONE and HKS Colors to be well within the achievable Gamut.

Color variations of Pantone colors in the proof in Delta-E

Color variations of Pantone metallics colors in the proof in Delta-E