Spot Colour vs. Full Colour Printing
It often comes as a surprise to learn that
'spot colour' printing (one or two colours of ink) can be more expensive
than full colour printing, especially on smaller quantities of print.
The reason is to do with labour. Full colour
printing always uses the same four colours of ink — cyan, magenta,
yellow and black — so a full colour press is always loaded with those
inks, known as 'process colours'.
By contrast, a spot colour job needs ink colours
mixing specially for it. This ink is loaded onto a press, the job is printed,
and the press must then be washed down ready for the next colours of inks
it will use.
This mixing, loading and washing down is relatively
labour intensive and this is reflected in the cost of spot colour jobs. Unless
your job needs a specific colour which cannot be accurately reproduced using
the four process colours, it is usually best to avoid spot colours.
Of course, there may be situations where a
special ink is required, such as a metallic or fluorescent colour. Often
this is added afterwards as a fifth colour and we can quote for such situations
using our computerised quoting system.
If you would like to explore the costs of using
special inks or effects such as spot UV varnishing, please contact us on