Using Multi-inks in Quark to Create Multi-color Jobs on a Two Color Printing Press

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Multi-inks in Quark

The multi-ink function in QuarkXPress is a creative and effective way to run a multi-color job as a two-color offset printing job.

The multi-ink function enables you to create your own colors for a job by mixing process colors and spot colors together to make new colors. Available in QuarkXPress 4.0 and beyond, it was designed originally to expand the range of colors available for a document and allow a greater level of color customization. It can also be used as a creative work around to make a two-color job look like something more than a two-color job.

The process is relatively simple. If you are using a spot color as one of the inks in the process, create it in Quark using the Edit - Colors function. If you are using only process colors, skip this step.

Next, go back into the Edit - Colors function and click on the New button at the bottom of the box, then click on the Multi-Ink option in the Model option. You will be presented with a list of process and (if you’ve created them beforehand) spot colors. You then can specify the shade of each ink component of the new color. Once you’ve created all the colors you want to use in the document, click on the Save button. You now have a whole gamut of new colors to utilize for your job, using just two inks.

While this function is not for every document, sometimes a job comes along that works well with this process.

For example, combining either a cyan (or blue) and a yellow (either in spot color form or using the process version) to create multi-inks can turn a standard job with two colors (blue/cyan and yellow) into a multi-color job (with a wide range of blues, greens and yellows) without bumping the job off of a two color press.

A note of caution; results can be unpredictable when your job leaves your computer screen and enters the world of the printing press. Before you get too far into the design process, you should check the colors you are creating by running test prints. As well, let your printer know ahead of time that you are using the multi-ink process, so they can let you know how to send them the job.