View Full Version : Four Color Illustrations?

09-09-2004, 11:14 PM

Could anyone please tell me what a four color illustration process entails?

Is that black and white and two other colors, or plus four other colors?

Are any specific colors usually used?

Much appreciated if you can let me know.

Maysun :)

09-10-2004, 09:16 AM
The two types of color printing are process color (4-color) and spot color. Process color involves taking a color image and separating it into the four colors used for printing, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK). When printed, these four colors create a full-color image. Nowadays, you can supply a color image in practically any file format and software is used to separate it into the four colors, which are subsequently made into printing plates. This is basically the same way home printers work as well.

Spot color is used when someone is wanting to be more economical and use fewer than four colors. Best examples of this are T-shirts and product packaging. You'll often see black, and then one or two specifically chosen colors. Look at a McDonald's bag or cup, and that's probably spot color.

There are some variations, depending on what we're talking about. It's best to talk to the actual printer if possible and find out how they would like the file(s). The process has been so advanced today, though, mostly we just need to make sure we have a high resolution image that has either been created or scanned into our computer and saved as a TIFF.

Hope this helps.

09-10-2004, 11:19 AM
Yeah, what Ted said. :)

It generally has nothing to do with how you create your illustration, unless the illustration is intended for spot color. You can go about creating your artwork as you normally would, then when it is scanned either you or the printer will convert it to the required file type.

09-11-2004, 07:39 PM
Ted and AFM159 - Yes, it helped - Thank you both SO much!

Maysun :)

09-12-2004, 08:07 AM
Two Color Illustration is also quite an amazing thing. It was popular in the 1950s and most often used red and black paint, along with white. Blue, black along with white is also effective. This was usually done in tempra or Cassein.

It is quite extraordinary what could be achieved with this limitged palette. The reason for doing it was printing costs for a 2 color plate run, vs. a 4 color run.

09-14-2004, 01:59 AM
It's still done Dallen.:) Ted's dead on about corporate identity, and if you take a look at high end merchadise and packaging like expensive perfumes, you can find one pantone spot and maybe a metallic. It's still liked for it's affordability and can also give a look of class.

Maysun, if you want to explore four colour process, borrow or buy an inexpensive loop and examine newpaper flyers. You'll see the little rossettes of CMYK.
White is usually the paper stock with no ink. The absence of colour.

09-16-2004, 11:48 AM
Thank you, Dallen and Leslie_Ann.

Maysun :)

09-17-2004, 02:01 PM

Here is a link to a 2 color Illustration that was printed very successfullty on a relatively poor grade of paper for a magazine. It is from the 50's
:clap: http://illustratedgallery.com/image...00/mvc-854x.jpg
It gives an idea of possibilities for blending in 2 color for printing. not just spot color. 2 color printing is very flexible.


09-24-2004, 12:44 AM
Is anyone else here old enough to remember doing pen and ink or pencil artwork and then cutting rubylith (or amberlith) flips for the 2nd color? Getting all those little registration marks all lined up? ARgggghhh!

Lord, I feel so old now... thank God for computers.

09-24-2004, 09:02 AM
Yep. Gives new meaning to the term "Senior Member."

Ted Dawson, Class of '84.

09-24-2004, 10:16 AM
class of '77 here. where's my Geritol?