Full Colour and Spot Colour Printing

PMS 206 Image.pngHere is an explanation of spot colour and full colour printing:

Spot colours

Pantone spot colour inks are used in litho printing when a specific colour match is required that cannot be achieved from four colour process.  The colour range includes metallic and fluorescent inks.  Spot colours can be identified under a magnifier as a solid colour without dots unless it is a screen where all the dots will be the same colour.  Not all spot colours have a suitable CMYK equivalent which is something that should be considered in order to keep a consistency of colour across a range of stationery. 


Also known as full colour print or four colour process, printing CMYK uses four colours - cyan, magenta, yellow and black.  It has a wider colour range than spot colour inks.  CMYK print can be seen under a magnifier as various dots of different percentages of the four ink colours.

Colour variation

Different paper stock can affect how colours appear once printed.  The same CMYK make up or spot colour ink can appear duller and less vibrant on bond and pulp stock compared to coated stock.


If colour matching is critical before the job proceeds to print, we can provide colour chips by post free of charge for spot colours.  For CMYK jobs, a test sheet can be supplied free of charge for digitally printed jobs or a small batch of test sheets for a small charge for litho printed jobs.

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