The best way to master Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop Tips & Tricks is built on reader questions about image manipulation, painting and getting the most from Photoshop. In the Design & Publishing Center,   Photoshop Tips & Tricks Department. . .

The Question:
How to make spot colors
I'm trying to apply 4 spot colors to a logo design in place of using CMYK values. The .psd file currently holds 4 layers, each layer representing one of the spot colors; however, the file is still using the CMYK values. After reading several articles, manuals, etc., I am still confused as how to replace the present color values with spot colors only. How is this possible without having to rebuild the file? And if I need to rebuild the file, what is the most efficient and least stressful way? My platform/software: PC using Photoshop 6.0. Any tips, tricks or tools would be greatly appreciated. Thanx!

Spot colors in Photoshop

...the key is channels

Our reply to a question sent in by: Laura
Not to fear, Laura, you won't have to rebuild the file.
   However, so long as you have data in the RGB or CMYK channels Photoshop will attempt to build the color you're asking for using those colors. If you want pure spot colors then you'll need channels.
   Drag each of your CMYK layers to the "New Channel" button at the bottom of the Channels palette. (Next to the trash can.) You'll see a duplicate of the target layer appear as a channel. Do all four, and you'll have four spot colors. Now delete the data (image) from the CMYK layers.
   Be sure to double-click on the channel item in the palette to pull up the channel options dialog and select Spot Chanel.
   You'll discover that all your specific color information has been stripped from the new channel. This is because channels can contain only 8-bit grayscale information. You add the color once the film is imaged, and you're on the printing press.
* Save a copy of the Photoshop file as a DCS 2.0 file. This is the one to use for final output. (It's a "Digital Color Separation" file which will separate correctly.
* Always specify the correct color you want. If going into a DTP program like Quark, match the names exactly. If in doubt, open Quark and select the color to validate the name. (If you don't do this, a 'new' sheet of film will be generated at imaging time. Naming the channel correctly assures it images on the same sheet of film that color is assigned to.)

Retrieved from Photoshop 911: 09/01/2002
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