• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint

Pantone/Two-Color Work

Q1:How do I colorize part of an image and print it in two colors? I have a customer who wants me to colorize a portion of her black-and-white photos; for instance, the man's tie is to be in the same Pantone color as the store's logo. Using colorizing commands looks great onscreen, but it appears to be of use only for the Web. How should I do this?

A1: It can be done, but it is challenging. You need to add a spot color channel in your Pantone color—just go to the Channels palette (Window>Channels) and choose New Spot Channel from the palette's flyout menu. Select your color in the resulting dialog, realizing that anything you want to print in that color needs to be on that channel. So you would select the tie using any selection tool, and then copy your selection from the black channel in the Channels palette, click on the spot color channel in the palette, and paste (Edit>Paste) onto the spot color channel. If you don't want any black (gray) in the tie, select the tie in the black channel and fill it with white (but it's more likely you would want some black to help define the tie, so you would probably only lighten the tie on the black channel). You need to think of these two channels as your two printing plates—all other Photoshop techniques, such as layers, become less useful now. When you're done, save your image as a Photoshop DCS file (File>Save As).
Q2:How do I pick a Pantone color?
A2: There is a Color Libraries button in the Color Picker. Click that button to access a number of different color systems, including Pantone. Although there is not a field in which to enter a number, just begin typing the number of your PMS color to select it. Note: When working in anything other than spot color, the result will not really be a Pantone color but will be an RGB or CMYK color (depending on the mode you're in).
Q3:How do I print a Pantone color? I picked a Pantone color from the Color Picker, but when I print it from my page-layout software, it prints CMYK plates. What gives?
A3: When you pick a Pantone color in the Color Picker you are choosing a color that is still RGB or CMYK, depending on your image mode. The only time you really output true Pantone color is when you create a duotone or an image with spot color channels.
Q4:How do I get a composite print from a DCS separation? I created a two-color file in Photoshop using the Multichannel mode. I saved it in DCS format. When I imported it in Quark, it previews fine, it separates fine, but I can't get a print out of the whole image together.

A4: When you save in DCS format (File>Save As), you are given a number of options for that format in the DCS format dialog (look under the DCS pop-up menu in the dialog). Talk to your print shop for their preference, but in general, use Multiple File with Color Composite. When you place the file, you'll get a low-res image that will print as a composite.
Q5:How do I print in two colors?
A5: Create a grayscale or monotone image (Image>Mode), and then from the Channels palette's flyout menu (Window>Channels), choose New Spot Channel, and in the resulting dialog, click on the Color swatch to select your second Pantone color. Your two channels are, in effect, your two printing plates (or film). Prepare each spot color channel by adding or taking away elements and/or lightening or darkening areas. Then save your file in Photoshop DCS 2.0 format (File>Save As). This will separate your two colors when printed from page-layout software.
Q6:Is it possible to reconstruct an image when all I have are the separations? Someone gave me a DCS file with only the four separations. Is there a way to put them back together?
A6: Yes, open all four files in Photoshop, and then from the Channels palette's flyout menu (Window>Channels), choose Merge Channels.



Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint