14 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2014 12:57 AM by SproetS

    InDesign Workflow with spot colors only

    SproetS

      Please can someone explain me why InDesign treats working with four spot colors differently than working with CMYK? They are just four colors or channels, right? What is the difference between Cyan or PANTONE Reflex Blue?

       

      It is true that 99% of the time CMYK is used. It is also true that you can work in CMYK and tell the printer to put a different ink instead of the a Cyan, Megenta, Yellow or Black ink. The project I work on now involves four Pantone spot colors and a few illustrators how need/want to see what they are doing, so...

       

      The question is mainly because InDesign is soooooooooo slow working with spot colors. It feels slower than Quark Xpress 4.11 on a Mac OS 9 G4 machine.

       

      Many thanks!

       

       

      [-> InDesign CC, MacBook Pro 7i 2011, SSD, 16 G RAM, 1 G GPU]

        • 1. Re: InDesign Workflow with spot colors only
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          ID works the same way as other programs when you use spot colors -- it adds another plate (channel). Add more than 10 and ID used to complain, but I'm not sure if that's still true in CC.

           

          Have you got the latest patch for ID installed?

          • 2. Re: InDesign Workflow with spot colors only
            Daniel Flavin Level 4

            I have never seen ID slow down with spot colors, but, I have not gone past CS5.5 nor do I work with OSX, both of which have many threads releating to screen draw times, and general lag.

             

            SproetS wrote:

             

            Please can someone explain me why InDesign treats working with four spot colors differently than working with CMYK? They are just four colors or channels, right?

             

            I would suggest working mostly in Overprint Preview when working with Spot Colors.

             

            What is the difference between Cyan or PANTONE Reflex Blue?

             

            Excepting that they are both defined colors...everything about them is different.

            Consider this - c, m, y, k are all spot colors. They are base colors, not different (to me) than Warm Red, Rhodamine Red, Reflex Blue, Pantone Green, Pantone Purple, Pantone Violet, Pantone Rubine Red, there are a few others..

            In you color pallet, Yellow is not a spot color - it is a mix of (typically) y and 0~20% m.

            Same for each color in the default pallet - 0~100% of c,m,y,k

             

             

            It is true that 99% of the time CMYK is used.

             

            Many spot colors cannot be accurately reproduced in the cmyk spectrum. 

             

             

            It is also true that you can work in CMYK and tell the printer to put a different ink instead of the a Cyan, Megenta, Yellow or Black ink. The project I work on now involves four Pantone spot colors and a few illustrators how need/want to see what they are doing, so...

             

            Those days are gone. You would need to be more familair with the hammer and screw approach to avoid overprint mistakes, tints are not the same as transparencies, many hurdles here that have long been forgotten. What you would see on screen would be nothing near to the actual project. 

            It should be determined before preceeding if the project will be printed cmyk or as 4 spot colors.

            • 3. Re: InDesign Workflow with spot colors only
              SproetS Level 1

              Consider this - c, m, y, k are all spot colors. They are base colors, not different (to me) than Warm Red, Rhodamine Red, Reflex Blue, Pantone Green, Pantone Purple, Pantone Violet, Pantone Rubine Red, there are a few others..

              Yep, this is exactly what it is for me!

               

              Our project is the making of a graphic novel, and yes we want the spot colors!

               

              Thanks for the reply!

              • 4. Re: InDesign Workflow with spot colors only
                SproetS Level 1

                We use four of them spot colors.

                It must be something else than that's slowing ID down...

                • 5. Re: InDesign Workflow with spot colors only
                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                  Daniel Flavin wrote:

                   

                  Consider this - c, m, y, k are all spot colors. They are base colors, not different (to me) than Warm Red, Rhodamine Red, Reflex Blue, Pantone Green, Pantone Purple, Pantone Violet, Pantone Rubine Red, there are a few others..

                  Except that CMYK process inks are translucent...

                   

                  Perhaps a way to deal with spots-spots-as-process inks would be to creat the basic spot swatches, then mixed ink swatches for the other colors you want to build from them (if that's really what you are doing -- loading 4 spot inks on press and overprinting them in verious densities).

                  • 6. Re: InDesign Workflow with spot colors only
                    SproetS Level 1

                    That's what I did.

                    I take an object with color A and it give it a transparancy of something. Above that I place the same object with color B an a certain transparancy.

                    Well, it works... but InDesign gets slow...

                    • 7. Re: InDesign Workflow with spot colors only
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      That is NOT the same thing as using a mixed ink, and you've introduced an incredible amount of unnecessary complexity with the transparency.

                       

                      From the Swatches panel flyout menu choose New Mixed Ink Swatch... and you can combine your basic colors in any proportions you want.

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: InDesign Workflow with spot colors only
                        SproetS Level 1

                        Cool! I did not know this, thanks!

                        • 9. Re: InDesign Workflow with spot colors only
                          Daniel Flavin Level 4

                          I'll reiterate, for safety, when transparency is introduced with spot colors, work in Overprint Preview

                          • 10. Re: InDesign Workflow with spot colors only
                            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Cool! I did not know this, thanks!

                             

                            If you will be printing mixed spot colors on an offset press make sure to run some kind of press proof test before getting into production. There's no accurate color management system for spot color tints or mixed inks, so if color accuracy matters you could easily run into significant problems on press. It's unlikely that you could get a reliable digital proof of mixed inks.

                             

                            The only reason to use 4 spot colors instead of process CMYK would be to print color that's significantly outside of the CMYK gamut.

                            • 11. Re: InDesign Workflow with spot colors only
                              SproetS Level 1

                              Thanks for the replies!

                               

                              I do a comic/graphic novel project and we want to be able to use a 100% color for outlines an text. A bit in the style of Mazzuccelli's Asterios Polyp.

                               

                              We are in the final stage of the project and we just recieved color test prints from the printer. It is close to the representation of the standard (non) callibrated Apple screen. That is cool (and surprising).

                               

                              The tip of the Mixed Ink Swatch is awesome! I hope it will be in illustrator sometime.

                              • 12. Re: InDesign Workflow with spot colors only
                                rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                It is close to the representation of the standard (non) callibrated Apple screen. That is cool (and surprising).

                                 

                                There won't be a color mangement problem with 100% tints of Pantones—the Lab values for most of the 100% colors will be quite accurate as long as your monitor profile is reasonably accurate.

                                 

                                Tints and mixed inks are different because there are no color profiles for how they will interact. The accurate display of a mix of 50% Pantone Orange with 25% Pantone Green would depend on variables like press dot gain, ink density and transparency, paper. When you work with CMYK those variables can be accounted for with CMYK profiles for standard press conditions. There are no profiles for mixed ink colors.

                                • 13. Re: InDesign Workflow with spot colors only
                                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  A bit in the style of Mazzuccelli's Asterios Polyp.

                                  The example art is very printable via CMYK. I suppose if you were to only use 100% values of the spots and overprint to get the violet, you could eliminate halftone screens, but that would only be worthwhile if you are being forced to print at a low screen frequency (133 or less).

                                  • 14. Re: InDesign Workflow with spot colors only
                                    SproetS Level 1

                                    There seems to be an other issue with a slow InDesign; read this forum.

                                     

                                    -> Edit june 2014: InDesign 2014 seems to be much faster!