Exercise 07.04: Spot Colors


The goal of this exer­cise is to under­stand and uti­lize the dif­fer­ence between color mod­els and the appli­ca­tion spot colors.


The objec­tive of this exer­cise is to cre­ate a sim­ple three color, spot color study from tex­tures and pat­terns for use in a larger col­lec­tive print.

Background Reading

Safety Notice

  • Min­i­mal safety concerns.


Using assigned tem­plates, Pan­tone Match­ing Sys­tem (PMS) col­ors and image based-grad­u­ated tex­tures, design a sim­ple lay­out on the pro­vided grid. While the final print will have three col­ors, each stu­dent is respon­si­ble for a two color solu­tion. The instruc­tor will assign cor­re­spond­ing iden­ti­fy­ing let­ters and col­ors to each half of the class.

Part One

Design a small grid con­sist­ing of four squares. The place­ment of the squares is flex­i­ble, but each solu­tion must include one of following:

  • Solid color, with reverse iden­ti­fi­ca­tion letter
  • Line or dot pattern
  • Image: halftone, thresh­old or dither
  • Com­bi­na­tion of two from above with overprint

Image related files are cre­ated using an image edit­ing pro­gram (Pho­to­shop) using the actions and instruc­tions for load­ing actions pro­vided in class. Pay care­ful atten­tion to res­o­lu­tion and size restric­tions. Cre­at­ing and sav­ing files in the appro­pri­ate loca­tion is vital for work­ing with com­plex projects in all media forms. While some are more for­giv­ing than oth­ers, fail­ure to prop­erly man­age files will cost time and money, of which the designer is liable.

Part Two

Allow the instruc­tor to review and approve the solu­tion. Save as PDF in the appro­pri­ate D2L loca­tion with the fol­low­ing file nam­ing con­ven­tion: ID letter_art218_exer_07_04_name.pdf

Part Three

The instruc­tor and stu­dent work­ers will demon­strate and print a final copy of the col­lab­o­ra­tive poster for each stu­dent in the course. The final cri­tique will address stan­dards, advan­tages and lim­i­ta­tions of the media. Atten­dance is the only require­ment for this part of the exercise.

Technical Specifications

  • 4 in. x 4 in. Tem­plate pro­vided by instructor
  • PMS color and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion let­ter pro­vided by instructor
  • Image size: 2.25 x 2.25 in at 144 dpi
  • Action files for image author­ing program
  • Two (2) spot col­ors only


  • The fol­low­ing rubric posted on D2L will deter­mine assign­ment score: Exer­cise Grading


PMS libraries, col­ors, over­print, sep­a­ra­tions pre­view, link­ing, file hier­ar­chy, file man­age­ment, mask­ing, swatch libraries, pat­tern libraries, knock­out, trap­ping, over­print­ing, screen printing


Art­work, com­puter, appro­pri­ate software,


As defined by cor­re­spond­ing cal­en­dar item, drop­box, dis­cus­sion or con­tent topic description.