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Spot vs. Process Print

There are many types of printing used in the flexible packaging industry. Two common types of printing are Spot and Process.

“Spot” printing applies PMS (Pantone Matching System) colors in a series of stages, one color per stage. Each stage’s process includes cylinders, rollers, a doctor blade and ink tray. The maximum number of colors printed on the film is limited to the amount of stages on each particular machine. Spot printing allows for exact-color matching.

“Process” overlaps tiny dots of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK) ink onto the film to create an image. When these four colors/layers combine, virtually any color can be created. Process printing has the capability to create more complex and realistic images. The process of combining the CMYK colors can create up to 90 percent of all PMS colors.