This colour system is often wrongly understood, which is why we explain here first of all the difference between process and spot colours.
Process colours in Calamus should be understood as the four preset colours available for the whole Calamus Colour management system: C (Cyan), M (Magenta), Y (Yellow) and K (blacK or contrast). This does not mean arbitrary shades or tints of these colours, but strictly defined colour values that are used in the so-called Euroscale, which is uniformly used in Europe for four-colour printing.
Please note that at present it is not possible to simulate other process colour systems in Calamus, such as SWAP or similar. The colour separation in Calamus is only realized as Euroscale four-colour separations.
During colour separation, a continuous-tone coloured document is split up into four separate parts, one for each ink colour. In professional use these are each output on an imagesetter to a separate film, which is used to produce a printing plate for this colour. Different intensities of each colour are produced via the rasterizing process, which breaks up tones into a series of closely-spaced dots whose spacing (or size with some printing processes) determines the intensity of the printed colour – the further apart (or smaller) they are, the lighter the colour will be at that position.
A spot colour is a freely chosen colour that is added in a separate printing step (or even in a different printing works) to the four process colours C-M-Y-K. In general it costs less to print than separated process colours and may be used instead of them for documents that only use one (or a few) solid colours apart from black. But it can be used equally well together with process colours to produce large solid areas of colour.
Each spot colour requires its own film to produce a suitable
printing plate and uses an ink that is pre-mixed to give just one
desired shade or tint which is fed from its own ink reservoir on the
printing machine. Unlike process colours it is printed
without a screen or rasterization. Note that it may be a metallic
colour such as gold, silver or bronze, for instance; it may equally
well be a firm's customized
house colour. BT blue, Royal Mail
red or German Post Office yellow are typical examples of house colours
as spot colours.
A spot colour can also be a
print lacquer, a clear coating
that is used in some types of printing to add brilliance to printed
colours. As this print lacquer often covers the 4-colour printing
(though with printed packaging, for instance, some areas that will
later carry adhesive address-labels may have to be kept uncoated),
this printing process will require its own print-film.
In Calamus you can not alter the four process colours C-M-Y-K. The
only thing you can change are the names that represent these colours.
This may be useful when preparing separation films for foreign print
works; for German printers you may prefer to use
Zyan in place
Gelb instead of
Yellow etc. These
colour names will be output in the margins alongside the picture
during printing or imagesetting.
To create spot colours, first make sure an entry is selected in
the colour list on the left (if necessary click on
to place one there), select
Process /Spot colours in the
Col.system popup and then click on the
New button under
the colour patch on the right. A copy of the currently selected
process or spot colour will be created and added to the (central)
list. You can now change both the name and colouring of this newly
produced spot colour. Note that the colouring is only required
originally for the screen representation, since each spot colour will
be imageset as a separate film. So if you want to have a
spot colour, it is sensible to alter the colour name produced after
New from, say
Cyan #2 to
this switch from the
Intensity to the
button to let you assign a CMYK colour mixture to this new spot
colour. With gold it is recommended that you mix Y with M until you
like the resulting colour in the colour patch.
But as soon as the radio button
Colour is selected you can
also take directly the already preset CMYK colour values of a palette
colour in order to assign them to a spot colour. It may be quite
sensible to create an HKS-colour, for instance, not as a palette
colour (see below) but as a spot colour. This was you can choose
subsequently during imagesetting whether the colour (say HKS 25)
should be output to its own print film, or whether the preset CMYK
colour values that form the basis of this palette colour as well as
the spot colour should be output as colour separations instead. In
that case no separate film would be output for HKS 25, but its colour
portions would be distributed over the four C, M, Y and K films.
If you click on the
Assign name button once you have
achieved the desired colour mixture, the selected spot colour name
will be included in the document colour list (at the left of the
dialog); this saves you having to type in the spot colour name again
in the document colour list.
If you want to use spot colours at a reduced the intensity (say 50 % BT blue or 25 % gold), proceed as follows:
First create a new document colour in the list on the left with
Next create a spot colour of the desired hue as described above and leave its intensity set to 100 %. Assign the name of this spot colour to the document colour. This includes the 100 % colour in the list.
Now copy the document list spot colour (click once more on the
New colour button). The new colour automatically adopts all the
values of the 100 % spot colour. In the
Process / Spot colours
part of the dialog you can alter the Intensity slider for this new
colour to, say, 25 %. Now alter the name of the copied spot colour in
the document list so that you can recognize that it has reduced
intensity (for instance
Gold 25 %).
It is not sensible to create the spot colour in the colour system itself (the list on the right) again and keep it there with an intensity of 25 %. When you later output that spot colour during imagesetting, the result would be not just one film for this spot colour (with different spot-colour intensities), but that several films would be produced. This is normally not what you want.