Spot colour inks have been used for years. Printers enjoy their tonal stability and artifact-free nature.
Designers rely on them to hit colours outside the normal gamut. Multiple runs through the press, split fountains, washups, and other costly and inefficient processes were unavoidable. Creo says process colour builds never offered the gamut, stability and fidelity required, until now.
According to Creo, Staccato screening provides image fidelity and tonal stability. Fidelity is increased via high-resolution, pseudorandom patterns. Process colour builds are smooth and artifact-free, even when screened back into midtones or highlights. Tonal stability is provided by Staccato’s resistance to the effects of normal shifts in registration and ink density.
Spotless printing is said to increase Staccato’s advantages by providing workflow tools to seamlessly replace special inks with process colour builds in vector work. It also enhances the vibrancy of raster images such as photographs by drawing on ICC profiles. Currently, Spotless Extended Color Management connects an extended process color set to a spot colour recipe database.
The upcoming Spotless Color Toolkit enables analysis of color capabilities on press, storage of spot colour definitions and profiles, and creation of print condition libraries, to assure consistent coloru under varying conditions, including proofing.
The colour set used in Spotless printing is open and flexible, says Creo. Some printers will choose the brightest colours possible for maximum gamut expansion. Others will integrate a sensitive brand color into an expanded set, retaining its use as a "spot" while also using it to expand overall gamut.
With Spotless, printers are able to group jobs that in the past would have been printed separately, and to increase the overall efficiency of their press room.
Creo says designers now can have a much wider colour set available to them, and a truer representation of their work is provided in the printed piece. Collaboration between the two is enhanced with colour-managed desktop proofing devices.
According to Creo, Spotless printing is poised to change the way commercial and packaging printers run their presses and engage their customers. Printers are empowered to reach into new markets with better colour representation, and the simulation of dozens of spot colours in a single job.