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Lesson 9. Two-Color Print Projects > Preparing to add a spot color

Preparing to add a spot color

Spot colors, also called custom colors, are premixed inks that are used instead of, or in addition to, the cyan, magenta, yellow, and black process color inks. Each spot color requires its own color separation or printing plate. Graphic designers use spot colors to specify colors that would be difficult or impossible to achieve by combining the four process inks.

For added impact, you’ll use a spot color to highlight the saxophone in the image. This task presents a unique challenge. The spot color and the duotone can’t be saved in the same file. The EPS file format supports duotones, but not spot colors. The DCS (Desktop Color Separations) supports spot colors—the only format that does, other than native Photoshop files—but does not support duotones. A CMYK image is not a viable option because this is a two-color project.


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