Four Color Process Vs Spot Printing

Why Choose Four Color Process Printing?

If your project requires color, then it will most likely either require a four color or spot printing process. As the name implies, four color printing utilizes four colors – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black – that are applied in different concentrations on the paper. This is also known as CMYK printing, and it’s most commonly used for full-color print jobs.

When full-color images are being created, layers of each CMYK color are added and overlapped in different concentrations to create as exact a match as possible to the desired colors. The four color process is applied as tiny dots on the paper to create the visual effect of a full-color image. 


The Benefits of Spot Printing

Spot printing works a little bit differently than four color or CMYK printing. With spot printing, each color is mixed and printed individually. Rather than recreating colors using CMYK concentrations, spot printing utilizes exact matching to the original PMS, or Pantone Matching System, color.

Spot printing creates beautiful color displays with a more authentic feel than four spot printing can sometimes achieve. Depending on what goals you have for your project, hot foil can also be used as a spot color that transfers a material to the substrate rather than a color. 


Choosing Four Color Vs Spot Printing

When deciding whether to use four color or spot printing for your print job, there are a few things to consider. Although the four color process has evolved to match colors pretty closely, some PMS colors cannot be created this way and would benefit better from spot printing. For company logos and other projects that emphasize specific colors, spot printing may be best. 

It’s also important to consider that spot printing can have a limited color range and may not work for full-color projects the same way that four color printing can. Business cards and stationary are other great examples of print types that can use spot printing successfully, whereas books, catalogs, and magazines may have better results with four color printing. 

In some cases, it may also be possible to add a spot color into a four color process depending on the job. Adding additional colors into CMYK printing can be a little more expensive, but the end result can blend the best of both processes into a striking visual. We can discuss all of these options with you to help you make more informed choices for your next project. 


Professional Printing Right Here in NYC

Thomas Group Printing is a fourth generation owned and operated professional printing company in NYC. We are experienced in every phase of the printing process and have created stunning results for some of the most influential companies in New York City. Reach out to us today to learn more about the four color and spot color printing processes and which option would be best for your project. 

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