BookBaby does not offer spot color printing. Instead, we specialize in digital CMYK printing. We recommend you avoid using any spot colors within your layout. You do have the option of supplying us files using spot colors. However, in these cases, Bookbaby will use automation to convert the colors in question, and the results may vary from your expectations. BookBaby will not be responsible for any final product concerns with color in these situations.
In this article, we will review some common scenarios where spot colors are used.
1. Supplying CMYK swatches as a Spot swatch.
This is common in files created in Adobe inDesign, and is very easy to fix. To do this, double click on the swatch to open the options window (shown below.) Simply change the Color Type from spot to Process.
This will define the color as CMYK everywhere this swatch was used. After correcting your layout, export a new PDF and upload your new file to us.
2. Pantone or PMS (Pantone matching system) spot colors
If you have built your document with these colors, you can convert them to CMYK. After making this change, the new color will often not be a direct match. In the sample below, the left side is showing a selected Pantone swatch. To convert that color to CMYK, choose the option from the Color Mode drop down, then change the Color Type in the separate drop down from Spot to Process.
Using the example above, it may be difficult to see the change in shade after making this adjustment. For reference, we have placed the two versions of the color side-by-side below (PANTONE on the left, CMYK on the right):
If you are not satisfied with the CMYK version, you may be able to fine tune the color conversions by tweaking the values in any of the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, or Black channels.
In a nutshell, don't use this.
"Registration" is 100% of all inks used in a document. You may have chosen this to make your blacks look darker (commonly referred to as "rich black" as shown below):
However, applying registration means you are using a 400% ink coverage (100% of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) on the printed sheet. We need to keep this total number below a 320% threshold. Anything more will mean the ink will not properly dry, causing the ink to stick to other sheets. If you prefer a "Rich Black" look instead of just using 100% black ink, we recommend using a swatch build that uses 30C/30M/30Y/100K. This will get the dark black colors you are after. Your color build does not need to match our recommended figure (for example, if you are trying to match a dark color in your photo), but make sure you keep the total below 320%.