3407 Poplar Creek Lane

Williamsburg, VA 23188



Process/Spot Color Printing

Spot colors are simply colored inks. We use spot colors when a card or letterhead has only 1, 2, or 3 distinct colors in them, in which the client wants a perfect match to the color(s) they've selected. Printers use the Pantone Matching System (PMS) to consistently maintain the chosen color(s), constantly comparing the run to the PMS swatch guide. Spot inks are either mixed in inkhouses and ordered, or, since the PMS guide contains the percentage of base colors that make up that particular ink, some printers prefer to mix inks themselves. The base inks are given names instead of numbers (think of a box of crayons), like Process Blue, Rhodamine Red, Rubine Red, etc. For example PMS 342 U (the "U" stands for uncoated paper ) consists of 12 parts Process Blue, 4 parts Yellow, and 2 parts Black.


In the past, printers had to shoot a negative of the image, mask out unwanted parts from the negative, burn a plate by placing the negative on a light sensitive metal sheet and focusing intense light on it, remove the parts of the plate that weren't exposed to light with nasty chemicals, fixing the burned image with more nasty chemicals, then once the job was run, saving the plate with even more nasty chemicals. Now though, we simply print to a Vector CTP(Computer to Plate) which utilizes only tap water to remove unwanted parts of the plate, and it's ready in about 5 minutes, with a much higher quality image and precise position on the plate.

                         ABDick 9985 2 Tower                                          ABDick 9810 Single Color                                       Presstek Vector CTP