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Add transparency on a spot color for printing

Community Beginner ,
Jun 19, 2023 Jun 19, 2023

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Hi!

I am designing an airless packaging. The manufacturer requested that I picked a color from the Pantone Formula Guide Coated. However, the color I want is not there and so I played with the transparency of a color to get what I want.

 

Just wondering if that is the best practice and how would that work on the printing side?

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Community Expert ,
Jun 19, 2023 Jun 19, 2023

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So you reduced the opacity? In that case that would need to use halftone screening in order to make it lighter. Your design would be printed in flexo? In that case halfone screening might or might not produce the exact color you want. You can do halftones, but only to a limited amount and it might turn out different. Since you seem to have no experience with out, I would consult with a flexo printing pro for this job.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 19, 2023 Jun 19, 2023

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That's not best practice. Instead, play with a "tint" of a character - this is a percentage or proportion of the ink. This should be able to get the same results without the risk of transparency.  You can also use tints to get different colours without paying for multiple inks.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 19, 2023 Jun 19, 2023

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Thanks for replying!

Please see my attachment. Is that what you meant?

So if I go to my manufacturer, would I still tell them that the spot color is Pantone 7506C even if I played with tint?

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Community Expert ,
Jun 19, 2023 Jun 19, 2023

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You would first consult with them and ask them how they produce. If they use indeed flexo printing you would ask them what's possible with it. 

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LEGEND ,
Jun 19, 2023 Jun 19, 2023

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Looking at your two screen shots, I don't see any spot colours, and I don't see any tints. I only see CMYK colours. This is not a spot colour AND WILL NOT PRINT AS ONE, even if it happens to be the same shade as one, or you've copied the CMYK value off a swatch card. A Pantone spot colour is entirely different from a CMYK value.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 19, 2023 Jun 19, 2023

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I think got it!
I didn't know I needed to add the Pantone to the Swatch panel and there would be a Tint slider on the Color panel when I click on it.

I got the proper screenshot now. Thank you!Screenshot 2023-06-20 at 10.33.11 AM.png

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Community Expert ,
Jun 19, 2023 Jun 19, 2023

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"Test Screen" is exactly right (as usual!)

 

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Community Expert ,
Jun 19, 2023 Jun 19, 2023

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The printer's process of your file and the actual print process doesn't matter much if your file is prepared properly it can be processed in an optimal way.  

 

I recommend you find your color, then specify it as a solid Spot color in Lab. That will provide the printer with a named color and its Lab values.  If your job prints digitally, and your color is too bright, it will not print to match, because the press gamut doesn't encompass your color.  The advantage of specifying this way is that the special color can be added to the press and proofing RIPs so they will be able to adjust that color individually if needed.    

 

If the color is to print as a spot color then you can ask your printer for a drawdown of the ink color you have specified.  Then they will use that color on the press.   

 

The best practice is to specify spot colors as Spot in your files at 100% if possible.  If not so long as the color is set up as a spot color in your file as a Lab color it will go through all of today's rips very well.  

 

The match may be disappointing if you're specifying a color that is out of gamut for a print process, and your print job is CMYK.   

ICC programmer and developer, Photographer, artist and color management expert, Print standards and process expert.

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