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What are Color Separations?

A full color piece of artwork, imagery or a design made on a work station has to be converted to the colors of ink required to make it on a printing press. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black are typically combined to make a full color rendering of the original art or design.

Solid inks called “spot colors” are added for important colors like logo or product colors that require exact matching throughout the press run. Spot colors normally print as solids only. The resulting “color separations” are used to image the printing plates that carry the ink on the press.

(See figure below) Standard CMYK separations typically cannot reproduce vivid colors such as blue skies in nature, deep purples, crimson reds, sunset yellows or actual product colors.

Managed Color Spectral Separations only use the exact number of inks required to make ALL the colors of your image or design. Spot colors are used photographically, not just as solids.