How do I prepare my files for spot color printing?

When preparing files for spot color printing, one of the most important considerations is making sure you have an accurate Pantone Matching System (PMS) number. The PMS number helps ensure that all colors used in the design match perfectly across different materials and substrates.

Please choose your colors from a physically printed Pantone Guide Book and not simply direct from your digital design software. If you don't have access to one, we are happy to select colors on your behalf or mail you one of our loaner guide books.

Knowing which PMS colors match each other makes it easy for designers and printers alike, supporting consistency throughout all projects.

Please pay close attention to which color series (U=Uncoated or C=Coated) you are choosing from - the same number PMS 123 C can look drastically different when using the U formula mixture.

Next – make sure all of the elements in your design are vector shapes (if possible). This means anything created using lines and points, rather than pixels such as photos or gradients.

That's because spot color printing requires that each element is made up of solid blocks of ink instead of a range of colors.

By using vector graphics you can easily differentiate between each section and add the right amount of ink to get the exact shade you're looking for.

  1. Make sure to include any bleeds, trim marks, or other important design elements in your document.

  2. Convert fonts to outlines: Convert any text in your document to outlines to ensure that the fonts will print correctly. This will prevent any font-related issues from occurring during the printing process.

  3. Save your file as a PDF: Once you have finished designing your document, save it as a PDF. Make sure to include all images and graphics in the PDF, and choose the appropriate PDF preset for spot color offset printing.