Spot color printing mode rgb or cmyk


hi all

any one having knowledge about spot color printing ?

when you create something for printing in spot colors, then what color mode do you select ?

RGB Mode or cmyk mode for printing in spot colors ?



The RGB mode is an additive color model for defining color on e.g. screens that transmit light, see
The CMYK is a subtractive color mode for defining colors for print on e.g. paper that absorbs light, see

So, a spot color to be printed (as a solid non matrix color tone) is defined by the color mode used for printing. :slight_smile:

There are a number of color schemes for spot colors available, the most common in US and EU is the commercial Pantone cards,


My knowledge is limited, so take my opinions with a grain of salt:

The very difficulty is to match the spot colors on the screen to the final result at the print shop. The differences in appearance between transmitted and absorbed colors can be unpredictable. Color matching for print is a huge problem and the base for a whole industry.

A professional solution would be to only use devices that is color calibrated and a print shop already known. A good color calibration is both expensive and hard to achieve.

It takes an official color calibration chart and good tools to adjust the color profiles on the printer to a matching printout and the monitor to display what the printer produced as close as being practicable. Then keeping in mind that you can’t know for sure how the work will come out on devices or media you don’t have control of.

For my own needs, with no client or third part involved, the safest way has been to design the layout on the screen and specify the used colors from a spot color swatch suited for the media that the print shop has the same and leave the color matching to the print shop.

Then doing the work, it is up to me to regard the match of the displayed colors with the color swatch in mind. This simple strategy excludes the use of images like photos and totally use colors from a commonly accepted spot color swatch suited for the media to be printed on.


thank Erik_J

i will study on this more before creating it.