Spot Color vs. 4 Color Process Printing

If you’ve ever ordered custom printed t-shirts or promo products with your logo, you’ve probably heard the terms spot color and 4 color process. You probably silently nodded in agreement while your sales person told you which to choose, but not why.

Let’s decipher these together.

Spot color is the term used when screen printing individual, solid ink colors. Say you have a t-shirt design with a pink heart in the middle (Valentine’s day is coming up after all!), you’d be using a spot color to print. You have to use vector artwork design in Illustrator in order to print with spot color.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.29.43 AM

When you have a photograph or an image made in Photoshop, that’s when you’d have to use 4 color process to print. This is just like newspaper print. 4 colors, cyan, magenta, yellow & black, are used to print small dots at different angles to achieve the final result: a beautiful image on your custom printed apparel!

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.32.00 AM

To design your own custom apparel online, visit PromoSpark’s Design Studio!


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