Goeztcraft Printers | Offset and Digital Printing | 734-973-7604
practiced creativity can make one ad
do the work
of ten.
- William Bernbach


To learn more about how we can help with your printing needs, we invite you to call or email us. We are here to help.

Goetzcraft Printers
Phone: 734-973-7604
Fax: 734-973-2421

Spot Colors

There are situations when you will want to add one or more spot colors to your 4-color process print project.

Using a Spot Color for Greater Color Control and Accuracy

For example, you may have a design with many 4-color process photographs and decide to add a warm gray background behind all your photographs. It would be better to choose a spot color for that warm gray background. You will gain much better color control and accuracy for both the background and the photos by choosing a spot color for the background. If you do not use a spot color for the background, any adjustment made at press to the color photographs will adversely change the background color ... and any adjustments to the background will change the photos. Finally, you cannot use gray paper for your background because that will change your photos as well.

Spot Color for Small Type and Thin Rules

If you want to print a lot of small and/or delicate type in a color, or you want to print thin rules in a color, choose a spot color. NEVER make small text or thin rules out of a mix of screened process colors. Multiple screens of process colors may not register on such small elements at press. Always use either one solid (100%) process color or a spot color.

Using a Spot Color for Impact

Some effects and some PMS colors simply cannot be matched by 4-color process. Fluorescent, pearlescent, pastel and metallic colors are good examples. Sometimes you simply want a deeper, richer color than can be created out of 4-color process or you need to exactly match a logo's colors.

Using a Spot Color to Indicate Spot Varnish

Spot varnishing is a design technique that puts varnish only on specific areas of a printed piece to make a photograph or graphic element stand out, or to create subtle images on the page. To add a spot varnish, create a new spot color in your layout program, naming it "varnish" or "spot varnish". For display purposes you can make the varnish just about any bright color so it stands out. Just make sure you don't use a color that is already in use elsewhere in your layout. Set your new varnish spot color to "overprint" to prevent the spot varnish from knocking out any text or other elements under the varnish.

File Prep for Spot Colors with CMYK

Always layout your design with all the final colors in place. Use CMYK mode for all of your 4-color elements, and specify the PMS color for your Spot colors. Indicated the spot colors on your laser proof to help us output your spot color correctly and not as a 4-color process screen mix.

CMYK Black


If your 4-color design has a black background, adding undercolor can create a rich, dense black. Try a combination of 100% black, 40% cyan, 20% magenta, and 10% yellow.