Monthly Archives: October 2010


RGB, red, green and blue. You don’t think you care but you do. These three colors make up all the colors and images you see on a screen, be it a computer screen, TV screen, DVD player, etc. It is a combination of tiny dots (pixels) that when placed next to each other, your eyes perceive as a color or shade. That’s all good and fine you say, but Lisa, why, why do I care? You care because RGB images are for electronic devices, screens, it is not for print. By print, I mean a commercial printer, your desktop printer or office copier/printer does not care, it will print your RGB image, it will forgive you. Your print professional, however, not so much. For now remember: Red, green, blue only on screen for you.


Spot–come, sit, stay.

As promised, here it is, SPOT COLORS! Pantone is the brand name of the ink most commonly used by commercial printers. CYMK are the colors used for four color printing and spot colors are either used in the two color print process or as a fifth color to four color printing. A spot color is a specific color based on a prescribed formula, by the Pantone company. Think of spot colors like a paint display at the home improvement store, all those colors, all those tints. Spot colors are very much like that. If you’re printing in two color, and you have your heart set on a peachy pink color, your printer will mix that specific color according to the Pantone formula and there you go. Hundreds of colors are available. Your printer will have a swatch book, think paint chips, if you use a designer (you should) they have the colors resident in their graphic design programs. It’s all good.

Pantone, not Pantene.

Pantene is hair. Pantone is ink. Pantone inks are use for commercial printing on commercial presses. I know, I hear you, la, la, la, too much information. Yes, but no. Pantone inks are used for four color printing, CMYK–if you search the tags in this here blog you’ll find it explained. Pantone inks are also used for spot colors. That’s what used when you are not printing in four color but maybe two, or you are printing four color but adding a fifth, like gold or something. If so, lucky you, don’t you have a nice big print budget? Stay tuned, spot colors explained!

Coated or uncoated–we’re not speaking about tongues here.

So simple, ever so simple. I could make hard and complicated but that’s not what we’re about. Coated, the cover of your paperback novel. It’s shiny, smooth and slick. The inside pages, not super smooth, not shiny and not slick. Seriously, that’s it.