At Printhouse there are the 2 main printing processes, Litho or Digital. You can read an older blog post of mine where I give a more in depth explanation: Choose Your Colour (Part 2): Litho vs. Digital Printing. Litho and digital printing both uses process colours for printing. That is Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black that are mixed and used together to make any colour in the colour spectrum . The most common use is photographic images. If your job’s printing process is digital, then this is the only option for solid colour shapes too. If, for example you have a print job that is high in quantity and consist of solid colours only, thus excluding full colour images, then a better option would be spot colours for the litho print process.
Pantone in the mix
Spot colours in litho printing (and in fashion/home too) gets measure with the Pantone standard. This year is Pantone’s 50th anniversary. After 50 years of filling our lives with colours, they sure do have a big variety of colour sets. Using a spot colour in litho printing result in a much brighter, smooth, intense colour. When compared to process colour printing, CMYK result in a bit more of a ‘dull’ solid colour. It also has a grain, because one solid colour is made up of the different colours’ (CMYK) dots.
With Pantone’s 560 new solid colours it is now at a total of 1,677 solid colour choices. There are also other libraries available, such as metallics, neons, pastels. Pantone has made a standard for process colours too, so that it can be compatible with digital workflows and they also have a booklet to compare the solid equivalent.
Pantone of the year
Since 2000 the Pantone Color Institute has been selecting the Color of the Year. To do so, Patone’s colour experts comb the world looking for the colour influences which best define the global zeitgeist. Color of the Year 2013 is Pantone 17-5641 Emerald, a lively, radiant, lush green.
Most often associated with brilliant, precious gemstones, the perception of Emerald is sophisticated and luxurious. Since antiquity, this luminous, magnificent hue has been the color of beauty and new life in many cultures and religions. Also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity, no other color conveys regeneration more than green. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity.
In the northern hemisphere, hopefully summer has finally arrived and here to stay for a while. Seeing all the colours appear in nature after a long winter is always an inspiration. And hopefully will inspire you too on your next printing jobs!