Spot Color Printing vs. CMYK Printing

Spot Color Printing vs. CMYK Printing

At Norka, you can expect color accuracy, sharpness, and high quality.  Our in-house prepress printing department ensures your art files are produced with predictable, accurate results.  Whether it’s printed using spot color(s), CMYK, or both, our skilled team will put “pop” in your packaging.

CMYK or 4-Color Process Method The most common method of achieving color in printing is referred to as CMYK, four–color process, or even just process; all colors are printed in dots. The mix or overlapping of these colors create a full-color wheel spectrum.  See image example.

Advantages This process is ideal for high-graphics or photographic type images that have a ton of color depths. CMYK is the best method to achieve realistic looking photographs on a printed piece. It uses less process, less screen for print; it can minimize costs, and increase print productivity.

Disadvantages Due to the colors being a mix of dots over dots, there is a higher chance of color variations.

Spot Colors Spot color printing uses a color system of solid or premixed colors known as Pantone Colors that are applied only to the area of the assigned color. When printing in a single (spot) colors, there will be a separate plate and single run of the process. If there are two colors, there will be two plates and two runs, and so on. See image example.

Advantages When using spot printing, colors are exact and accurate to the original design because they are assigned their specific Pantone number. Pantone Color is a standardized color matching system, utilizing the Pantone numbering system for identifying colors. By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in different locations can all reference a Pantone numbered color, making sure colors match without direct contact with one another. The spot color method does not require the mixing of ink and guarantees a true consistent color in every production run. Spot Colors are generally less expensive when printing three colors or less.

Disadvantages Spot Color printing is not a great fit for digital print.

Are you interested in learning more and seeing what Norka can do for you? 

Call one of our printing and packaging experts today!

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