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All professional desktop publishing applications offer a wide
selection of colour libraries to choose colour swatches from and it
can be a little confusing to the newcomer.
Fortunately, there is only a small selection of these libraries
which you normally need to be concerned with.
Pantone solid coated & uncoated
These are the two libraries you will use most often.
The first thing you need to understand is; there is no such thing
as coated ink or uncoated ink, the same tin of Pantone 295 for
instance is used whichever colour library is selected. The difference
is how the colour appears on the paper it is printed on.
There are thousands of different types of paper (or stock),
but they all generally fall under two main categories; coated or
uncoated. Coated stock has a finish applied to the surface such
as glossy stocks for example, whereas uncoated stocks such as
standard photocopier paper is unfinished.
Each type of stock accepts ink differently, on uncoated stock
the ink will generally appear darker than the same ink printed on
a coated stock. This is why we are offered two different colour
libraries within InDesign. Each library tries to replicate on screen
how the colour will appear on the stock you are printing on.
The point to remember here is; unless your monitor is calibrated
correctly to display colour it really does not matter which library
you choose to work from. Just choose one and stick with it.
If on the other hand your monitor has been calibrated correctly
to display colour, then you need to firstly; identify the stock your
project is to be printed on and use the appropriate colour library.
Metallics and pastel libraries
As I mentioned earlier, metallic, pastel and fluorescent inks are
notoriously difficult to reproduce using the four-process colours. If
you select a colour from one of these libraries, then be prepared to
print it as a spot-colour for the desired effect.
Please note: that metallic inks are the only lithographic inks
that are actually opaque and not transparent.