This type of printing is where you use specific limited number of colors to print. It is the traditional process called Offset Lithography. It is the same process that most commercial printers use for full color but with only individual colors. It is very usefull if you have a particular color you use for your branding. These colors are usually specified using a Pantone matching sytem value, or PMS number.
Though the process is standard throughout the industry, the quality of the printed pieces requires great expertise and solid equipment. The offset process involves two things: ink and water. As we you may know, ink (oil) and the water never mix. When a plate with the image is created, it is dampened with water first, then with ink. The ink sticks to the plate where the image area is, and the water binds to the non-image area. The image is then pressed to a rubber blanket, and then finally to the paper. This is why it is called “offset”, because the plates never actually touch the paper as in other forms of printing.
Spot color printing, from a printing press is available in a wide range of formats. Offset printing produces simple to elaborate images on paper and is limited only by your imagination. Spot color printing can be the most economical way to produce high quantity products when only using one, two or three colors and/or black ink. Items such as mailers, letterhead, envelopes, invoices and other business forms, note cards, and invitations are great examples.
At NW Printed Solutions we also print spot color with thermography or "raised" printing in house. It gives your printed piece a tactile feel as the ink is raised off the paper with a process using heat and a platic powder. This is only availble with Spot Color Printing and not available on all items.