1 2 Previous Next 40 Replies Latest reply on Mar 28, 2012 1:12 PM by jiyasa

    Metallic ink

    jiyasa Level 1

      Hi guys, I'm working on a project for a customer and in this design is a fish and he is asking for irredescent/metallic ink in a blue/teal and in order to do this, I know I have to apply a metallic spot color in the ink manager. Could you guys advise me on how I might go about getting this accomplished step-by-step in indesign before I send it off to the printer? Thanks in advance

        • 1. Re: Metallic ink
          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          Add the spot color in the swatches panel and use it as a fill.

           

           

           

          There’s really not much else to tell you except that you should expect to see the full effect until it’s actually printed.

           

           

           

          Talk to the printer about this ahead of time.

           

           

           

          Bob

          • 2. Re: Metallic ink
            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

            It will cost more than metallic ink, but you might want to use a foil stamp instead. You'll have more choice for color and better effect.

            • 3. Re: Metallic ink
              Derek Cross Level 6

              Do you think your customer means metallic ink or does he mean foil blocking?

              Just a thought.

              Derek

              • 4. Re: Metallic ink
                Manish-Sharma Employee Moderator

                If you want a true metallic look use "foil stamp" as Peter suggested . Metallic inks due a pretty good job on coated paper but won’t reach the level of metallic look as foil will. Metallic on uncoated sometimes works and sometimes you just don’t get the sheen you would like to have because you have less ink holdout. Most of your issues with printing metallic inks are that they are much more opaque than normal PMS inks. This brings trapping into play and some commercial printers may have more issues with that.

                 

                As far as Metallic inks go, my advice would be to see some samples and to speak with your printer for specifics. All printers vary in the way they print metallics, so looking at samples will give you an idea of the quality they can produce.

                • 5. Re: Metallic ink
                  jiyasa Level 1

                  I think what this guy is wanting is to make the scales of the fish stand out but seeming as I have so little experience with a printer, what I do is email them (once paid) the native .ai file and a .pdf and let them choose the printer of their choice and they can make the change for them. But I guess if I had to go about sending it to the printer I would probably do what Peter mentioned (the foil stamp), so I just apply a spot color and specify to the printer that this is intended to be a foil stamp? What type of spot color would you suggest? I've never really worked outside of process colors.

                  • 6. Re: Metallic ink
                    Manish-Sharma Employee Moderator

                    Spot colours are colours that can't be reproduced by CMYK. They are special colours that fall outside the GAMUT (range of colours that CMYK can possibly make). They are mainly used for specific branding, logos with up to 3 colours only etc.

                     

                    Some logos, branding, printed material etc. require to have a very specific colour, so sometimes you would need to print CMYK and 1 spot colour or 2 spot colours.

                     

                    You wouldn't want to print a print job with 8 spot colours, that would mean it's double the amount of plates needed (CMYK) to reproduce the colour, therefore doubling the cost, effectively.

                     

                    So for most print jobs people print using CMYK. Even if a spot colour is used in a logo, they convert the spot to CMYK to save money on an extra plate.

                     

                    When a printer receives the file, they can separate the CMYK, these are the separations. They are each printed onto a plate for printing (it's a thin metal plate with emulssion that is burned away by a laser to form the shape of whatever your printing, from letters, to illustrations to photos) this is know as the the RIP stage (Raster Image Processing).

                     

                    What you're looking for is to create a document/logo or whatever you're doing, so that it is printed with a special spot colour, called a metallic ink. Which is exactly what it is. It's an ink with metallic properties, specially made and it gives a shine off it just like metal would.

                     

                    This is a spot colour, it's a special ink that has to be made or bought in.

                     

                    =======================================================================================

                     

                    In Indesign , Go to Swatches PAnel, Create the new swatch and choose "Pantone Metallics coated" and in the list you can choose the spot color as per your requirment.

                    • 7. Re: Metallic ink
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      Since we don't know waht your design looks like, I can't say for sure, but the liklihood is high that you can use the same spot plate for either metallic ink or foil. Using foil requires cutting of a metal die that is used to stamp the foil onto the paper, but it's made from a spot color separation. You'll get more punch out of foil in thin lines than you will with your metallic (I use a metallic bronze ink for my logo -- that same oak leaf skeleton that you see in my avatar -- but the effect is so subtle that it hardly shows up), but it may be too much for a large unbroken area.

                       

                      You REALLY need to discuss a job like this with the printer before you go too far. They may tell you that you need to knockout rather than overprint any black that touches your fish, for example, or vice versa.

                      • 8. Re: Metallic ink
                        jiyasa Level 1

                        logo.jpg

                         

                        After I advised him that foils or metallic inks would likely drive the price of the job up he decided against it but this is what I have been working on. I wanted to create a vector image that could be resized for business cards, brochures, etc. He wanted this logo on the side of his truck door as well. But while we're on the subject, what is overprint and knockout?

                        • 9. Re: Metallic ink
                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                          Overprint means on ink is added on top of another, so the colors, in theory, combine. Black text is usally set to overprint because the result is just a darker black and it eliminates trapping and registration issues. Knockout means the are or one color leaves a hole in the color behind it.

                           

                          Just which part of the logo were you trying to make metallic? I'm not sure I see anything there for which foil would actually be appropriate. Unlike ink you can't do continuous tone in foil -- it's 100% foil or nothing.

                          • 10. Re: Metallic ink
                            jiyasa Level 1

                            He said after looking at some pictures of a black crappie that they tend to have sort of a blue/teal metallic tint to their scales so he wanted it to have that kind of blue shine to it. So just the upper part of the fish. I probably will just copy/paste another fish over the top of that one and remove the color and drop a light blue to transparent fade from top to bottom and that would probably appease him, no need for foils or metallics. But I understand what you are saying, the color with a foil is consistent and does not change throughout (like a penny). I'm still a little unclear about knockout, could you elaborate on that please?

                            • 11. Re: Metallic ink
                              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                              Do you have a swatch book? The graysih areas on that fish would actually probably look pretty good in Pantone 8201 or 8281 (both metallics) if he wants to spring for the extra plate and press wash.

                               

                              Here's a good example of the difference between overprint and knockout:

                               

                              In ID make a shape and fill it with 100% magenta, then overlap another shape on top filled with 100% yellow, leaving three distinct areas, all magneta, all yellow, and where they meet. Duplicate the two shape to another spot on the page so you can see both sets at the same time.

                               

                              Open the Attributes panel (Window > Output > Attributes), then select one of the yellow shapes and check the Overprint Fill box in the attributes panel.

                               

                              Now open the Separations Preview panel (Window >Output > Separations Preview) and choose Seaparations from the dropdown. Do you see a differnece in the overlap areas? Now use the eyeball icons in the preview panel to hide the C, Y and K plates, and look at the difference in the Magenta plate output. Overprinting the yellow will leave all of your magenta plate, knockout will remove the part where the yellow overlaps.

                              • 12. Re: Metallic ink
                                M Blackburn Level 3

                                "Spot colours are colours that can't be reproduced by CMYK. They are special colours that fall outside the GAMUT (range of colours that CMYK can possibly make)."

                                 

                                That is an inaccurate description of spot colour. Spot colours are inks that are premixed for a specific result. But since they are inks, just as are the inks used in process colour printing, virtually all spot colours  fall within the same subtractractive colour gamut (this excludes metallic inks whose colour makeup is not constrained to  dyes).

                                 

                                There may be some colours that are impossible to match exactly,  I don't know the theoretical limitations of the process primaries, but I see no reason at all for a sufficiently high quality process printing not to be able to lay down a colour, indistinguishable for the human eye, from the vast majority of spot colours. In fact, I would argue that any mismatch between a process version and a spot, can just as easily be seen between two identical spot colours from different presses.

                                • 13. Re: Metallic ink
                                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  There may be some colours that are impossible to match exactly,  I don't know the theoretical limitations of the process primaries...

                                   

                                  CMYK gamut limits aren't theoretical, they can be measured. Photoshop's color picker shows if a solid color is out of your current CMYK working space's gamut. For US SWOP Coated  it's around 25% of the Pantone Solid + library—from extremely (Reflex Blue or Orange 021) to slightly (112C) out-of-gamut.

                                  • 14. Re: Metallic ink
                                    Derek Cross Level 6

                                    Most commercial colour printing nowadays is undertaken by the, litho (planographic), digital and for, huge runs, gravure (intaglio) printing processes, using CMYK. The gamut of CMYK is limited, but satisfactory for most normal purposes. Spot colours can be used (if you have the budget!) for colours that can’t be reproduced well by CMYK, for example, bright orange, bright green or metallic colours. There is also Hexachrome, which is six colour process printing, which adds orange and green to CMYK.

                                     

                                    I attach a profile comparing a CMYK with an Epson stylus Pro 2100 inkjet printer. The outer line and faded shape of the inkjet compared with the inner generic CMYK profile – it indicates most clearly the limited gamut of CMYK.

                                     

                                    Foil blocking/stamping often, though not exclusively, uses a letterpress (relief) process.

                                     

                                    Derek

                                     

                                    colour profiles1.jpg

                                    • 15. Re: Metallic ink
                                      M Blackburn Level 3

                                      "Photoshop's color picker shows if a solid color is out of your current CMYK working space's gamut."

                                       

                                      You are mixing apples and oranges. The gamut difference you are talking about is between RGB and CMYK, which is difference between what can be reproduced by light on a monitor and what can be produced with ink on a printed page. The discussion is between inks and inks: between mixing them on the page via  processs primaries and mixing them in a vat with primary dies.

                                       

                                      Derek's  reference to hexachrome is much more to the point. Any colour that could be produced with hexachrome that cannot be produced with cmyk could  still be reproduced with spot colour and would by definition be out of cmyk's gamut: but I still maintain that is a very small percentage of the colour range, rather than a definition of the range. (Again: I exclude metallic inks because they are not constrained to dyes.)

                                       

                                      The primary purpose of using spot colours is NOT to achieve results that are impossible with cmyk. And perhaps the primary reason for spot colour is a thing of the past : how many  2 or 3-colour presses are left? They necessarily ran with spot colours. The main reason nowadays is control: since spot colour runs on a separate plate the printer can control the spot colour separately from the process colours; he doesn't have to decide between skin tones and corporate correctness.

                                      • 16. Re: Metallic ink
                                        rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                        You are mixing apples and oranges. The gamut difference you are talking about is between RGB and CMYK

                                         

                                        In Photoshop all Pantone solid colors are defined as Lab not RGB. Photoshop's out-of-gamut warnings work for Lab as well as RGB colors. Pantone 807 is obviously way out:

                                         

                                        PhotoshopScreenSnapz001.png

                                         

                                        The gamut warning is the relationship of the source Lab or RGB color to your current CMYK working space so 710 C is out-of-gamut when my working space is US Sheetfed Uncoated, but in gamut when my working space is US Sheetfed Coated:

                                         

                                        PhotoshopScreenSnapz002.png

                                        PhotoshopScreenSnapz003.png

                                        • 17. Re: Metallic ink
                                          M Blackburn Level 3

                                          "Pantone solid colors are defined as Lab not RGB"

                                           

                                          You are still mixing apples and oranges. These computer representations of colour are not the issue, we are talking about physical matter only: printing inks.

                                          • 18. Re: Metallic ink
                                            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                            And spot colors are not built the same as process on press. Spot colors are NOT dyes, they are opaque pigmented mixes, similar to paint. Process inks are translucent.

                                            • 19. Re: Metallic ink
                                              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                              These computer representations of colour are not the issue, we are talking about physical matter only: printing inks.

                                              The ink color can be accurately measured with a colorimeter or spectrophotometer—that's where the Lab values for the Pantone solids or any CMYK profile comes from. The gamut warning has nothing to do with your monitor's representation or display of a color, it comes from the instrument reading of a printed ink patch. There are colors on the edge where no one will care, but Pantone Orange or Reflex Blue is not going to happen.

                                              • 20. Re: Metallic ink
                                                M Blackburn Level 3

                                                "Spot colors are NOT dyes"

                                                 

                                                You are quibbling over semantics. Those opaque pigmented mixes are produced from dyes, and don't bother getting into exact definitions of what dyes are because I'll just ignore you.

                                                 

                                                Have you ever actually mixed inks for press? I have, and they are not all equally opaque, but even that is irrelevant as to whether spot colours can be defined as inks that are out of the cmyk gamut. That statement is clearly false, since the vast majority of ink mixes can be replicated on the printed page using the process primaries.  

                                                • 21. Re: Metallic ink
                                                  M Blackburn Level 3

                                                  "but Pantone Orange or Reflex Blue is not going to happen."

                                                   

                                                  And no where have I said that every spot colour can be matched exactly. Some inks are pure colours derivative of the process of making that ink. But the majority of spot colours themselves are mixes of  fundamental colours and the vast majority of those can be replicated using cmyk.

                                                   

                                                  Good grief folks, the only statement I am making is that spot colours cannot be defined as colours that are out of the cmyk gamut. Is anyone really willing to defend that definition?

                                                  • 22. Re: Metallic ink
                                                    rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                                                    Is anyone really willing to defend that definition?

                                                     

                                                    No—just a bit more pessimistic about the capabilities of CMYK.

                                                    • 23. Re: Metallic ink
                                                      Manish-Sharma Employee Moderator

                                                      ****spot colours cannot be defined as colours that are out of the cmyk gamut. Is anyone really willing to defend that definition?***

                                                       

                                                      Just need to clarify....

                                                       

                                                      In pintng we use the seperate Plates for the spot colors which add the additional cost.

                                                       

                                                      How can we get to know that the specific spot color can be defined by the CMYK to reduce the cost as spot colors are not the colors defined out of the cmyk gamut.

                                                      • 24. Re: Metallic ink
                                                        rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                        How can we get to know that the specific spot color can be defined by the CMYK to reduce the cost as spot colors are not the colors defined out of the cmyk gamut.

                                                         

                                                        In Photoshop if a solid ink color is out-of-gamut an exclamation point and small swatch shows next to the ink's swatch. Click Picker and you'll go back to the color picker and there you can click the exclamation point and see the  nearest in-gamut-color. So for Pantone Orange you can see the problem is significant, but for 133C which is on the edge of the gamut there's not a real world problem:

                                                         

                                                        Screen shot 2012-03-26 at 1.41.25 PM.pngScreen shot 2012-03-26 at 1.41.30 PM.pngScreen shot 2012-03-26 at 1.42.39 PM.pngScreen shot 2012-03-26 at 1.42.45 PM.png

                                                        • 25. Re: Metallic ink
                                                          M Blackburn Level 3

                                                          "No—just a bit more pessimistic about the capabilities of CMYK."

                                                           

                                                          Fair enough, but I can't help think that that pessimism is fueled in part by working on a computer. Even taking your orange example,  no ink can match the orange on screen, because no ink can shine light into your eyes, therefore the computer representation of the differerence must be - at least somewhat - more pronounced.

                                                          • 26. Re: Metallic ink
                                                            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                            therefore the computer representation of the differerence must be - at least somewhat - more pronounced.

                                                             

                                                            When yo click the ! mark the move to the nearest in-gamut-cmyk color is relative to the source Lab and destination CMYK—the distance will be the same no matter what the state of the monitor. Photoshop shows that the out-of-gamut difference for Pantone Orange is relatively greater than  for 133C—and on press you'll have a  harder time getting close to Pantone Orange.

                                                            • 27. Re: Metallic ink
                                                              Daniel Flavin Level 4

                                                              jiyasa wrote:

                                                               

                                                              He said after looking at some pictures of a black crappie that they tend to have sort of a blue/teal metallic tint to their scales so he wanted it to have that kind of blue shine to it.

                                                              Oh boy, this is the kind of design work that sends me screaming...

                                                              • 28. Re: Metallic ink
                                                                M Blackburn Level 3

                                                                "the distance will be the same no matter what the state of the monitor."

                                                                 

                                                                I think you are  talking past what I say: as long as you refer to Photoshop, whether you compare cmyk, spot, or lab, you are always viewing two rgbs.

                                                                 

                                                                I worked for years in-house. Over the years we produced hundreds of pieces with our corporate colour. Looking back over those samplings it is obvious that it was better  using process colour whenever possible. The variance in the process printings were minor compared to that of the spot colour printings. Those that have actually ran press may have a bit more appreciation for the fact that some spot colours are much more difficult to manage than others (granted, I must ad the caveat that printing inks have changed considerably in the last decade or so).

                                                                 

                                                                You talk of being pessimistic about the capabilities of cmyk, but pulling a number out of my rear tells me that at least 80% of all spot colours can be reproduced in a manner indiscernable to the human eye, and in over half of the rest the difference is inconsequential. Seems to me the glass is much more than half full.

                                                                • 29. Re: Metallic ink
                                                                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                  but pulling a number out of my rear tells me that at least 80% of all spot colours can be reproduced in a manner indiscernable to the human eye

                                                                  see my first post #13

                                                                  • 30. Re: Metallic ink
                                                                    M Blackburn Level 3

                                                                    "see my first post #13"

                                                                     

                                                                    I have no idea what that is supposed to clarify, but it does prompt me to clarify something. My statement that I personally don't know the theoretical limitations of process colour in no way suggests that those limits don't exist. I wouldn't have thought to have to explain what theory means in a graphic design forum, but a theory is a predictive model based on the accumlated known facts. In this case including the  algorithms used to translate representations from one medium to another. Your interpretation of my statement is exactly bass ackwards.

                                                                     

                                                                    My disagreement with your proclivity to use what you see on screen as proof of discrepancies on paper is another issue.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Metallic ink
                                                                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                      In my post I said around 25% of the Pantone lib is out-of-gamut, your saying 80% are in-gamut—we're hardly disagreeing. Call it 20% that's 300-400 colors and Photoshop is correctly showing that.

                                                                       

                                                                      My disagreement with your proclivity to use what you see on screen as proof of discrepancies on paper is another issue.

                                                                       

                                                                      The out-of-gamut indicator has nothing to do with screen preview or the state of your display—you could have no monitor calibration in place and it would still work. The question is is the color far enough out to be a problem. You could make the judgement on the Lab number differences if you want. If the destination CMYK profile is accurate and the Pantone colorimeter reading is accurate then the relative out-of-gamut distance will be reliable.

                                                                      • 32. Re: Metallic ink
                                                                        M Blackburn Level 3

                                                                        "In my post I said around 25% of the Pantone lib is out-of-gamut"

                                                                         

                                                                        My apologies, I read right over that. We are not that far apart.

                                                                         

                                                                        "The out-of-gamut indicator has nothing to do with screen preview or the state of your display."

                                                                         

                                                                        I never suggested otherwise,  but that is not the source of my disagreement. Going back to the example of Pantone Orange, both the current and new boxes are rgb representations. Even if you are strictly going by the numbers, those numbers are derivative of several interdependant algorithms. Not just to define the colour  in the particular model, but algorithms to force the monitor to accommodate how the human eye registers brightness and colour balance. Because (I'm assuming) it is impossible for all the curves to be identical, some colours must be either above or below the curve in relation to its counterpart on another curve. So exactly how close cmyk can get in any particular case can only conclusivley be settled by mail. And my guess is that if five  people, sent me five spot colour  press proofs of  Pantone Orange, I would get five different colour samples (of course if everyone went to only the finest printer in their area and they all collaborated on the stock I may have to eat those words).

                                                                         

                                                                        And then there is just the simple praticality of it. As printing methods evolve, I think spot colours are doomed to go the way of the letterpress: craft shops only.

                                                                        • 33. Re: Metallic ink
                                                                          TwitchOSX Level 1

                                                                          If you are looking to highlight the scales, you could do a Spot UV coating. Alternatively, if you do with the metallic ink, you usually can't just have one file. Usually you have to send multiple files. One CMYK file and a separate file where all the black in the 2nd file is where the metallic stuff gets printed... same as setting up a Spot UV file.

                                                                          • 34. Re: Metallic ink
                                                                            TwitchOSX Level 1

                                                                            Right. Process inks are translucent so that when you lay them down on top of each other, you get different colors. Spot inks are already that color and are not translucent. They are not created on the press by the mixing of CMYK.

                                                                            • 35. Re: Metallic ink
                                                                              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                                                              TwitchOSX wrote:

                                                                               

                                                                              If you are looking to highlight the scales, you could do a Spot UV coating. Alternatively, if you do with the metallic ink, you usually can't just have one file. Usually you have to send multiple files. One CMYK file and a separate file where all the black in the 2nd file is where the metallic stuff gets printed... same as setting up a Spot UV file.

                                                                              I've never seen a requirement for two files. Spot inks, whether colors or varnishes or even foils, are just one more plate in the same file. You need to be careful about setting overprints properly, for sure, but no need for a second file.

                                                                              • 36. Re: Metallic ink
                                                                                TwitchOSX Level 1

                                                                                Both 4-Over and GR Print require 2 files. Those are the only companies we deal with that allow spot UV coatings and other things that are similar.

                                                                                • 37. Re: Metallic ink
                                                                                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                                                                  Looks like you just picked two printers that want you to do extra work so they don't have to do their jobs.

                                                                                  • 38. Re: Metallic ink
                                                                                    rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                                    Even if you are strictly going by the numbers, those numbers are derivative of several interdependant algorithms.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    No algorithm defines the Pantone ink color—the Lab value is from an instrument reading—either it's in the CMYK gamut or not. The gamut is defined by the working CMYK profile–that space is also defined by instrument readings of color patches. There are no curves involved unless you are using the legacy CMYK setup, which Adobe abandoned 10 years ago.

                                                                                    • 39. Re: Metallic ink
                                                                                      TwitchOSX Level 1

                                                                                      Of the 4 or 5 trade printers that we have accounts with, those are the only two that do spot colors. Although Zoo might now.. and I haven't checked on their artwork specs.

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