When you need to achieve the maximum number of printed colors with the fewest number of inks, you can create new ink swatches by mixing two spot inks or by mixing a spot ink with one or more process inks. Using mixed ink colors lets you increase the number of colors available without increasing the number of separations used to print the document.
You can create a single mixed ink swatch or use a mixed ink group to generate multiple swatches at once. A mixed ink group contains a series of colors created from incremental percentages of different process and spot color inks. For example, mixing four tints of process cyan (20%, 40%, 60%, and 80%) with five tints of a spot color (10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50%) results in a mixed ink group that contains 20 different swatches.
A. Parent of mixed ink group B. Child in mixed ink group C. Mixed ink swatch (standalone)
Before you can create a mixed ink swatch or a mixed ink group, you must add at least one spot color to the Swatches panel.
Colors on a monitor often look different when they print. For best results, ask your commercial printer to output a sample of any mixed inks you want to print.
For Initial, enter the percentage of ink you want to start mixing to create the group.
For Repeat, specify the number of times you want to increment the ink percentage.
For Increment, specify the percentage of ink you want to add for each repetition.
For instance, when mixing and matching process color cyan’s 4 tints (20%, 40%, 60%, 80%) and 5 spot tints (10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%) to create 20 swatches, for cyan, set Initial to 20%, Repeat to 3, Increment to 20%, and set spot Initial to 10%, Repeat to 4, and Increment to 10%.
An alert appears if the values you enter for Initial, Repeat, and Increment add up to more than 100% of any one ink. If you decide to proceed anyway, InDesign caps the ink percentages at 100%.
You modify a mixed ink swatch using the same methods used to edit other swatches. As you edit a mixed ink swatch or group, be aware of the following:
If you use the Swatches panel to delete an ink that is used in a mixed ink swatch, InDesign prompts you for a replacement. A mixed ink must contain at least one spot color, or it will be converted to a process color.
Changes you make to the parent of a mixed ink group apply to all mixed inks in that group. (Changes you make to a swatch in a mixed ink group apply to that swatch only.)
Converting a mixed ink to a process or spot color removes its association with its mixed ink group.
Deleting the parent of a mixed ink group deletes all swatches in the group.
Select a new ink to replace an existing component ink.
Click the box next to an ink to exclude or include it as a component of the mixed ink group.
You cannot change the initial percentages, repeats, or increments used to create the mixed ink group.
Use the Swatches panel to delete mixed ink groups, add swatches, and convert mixed ink swatches to process colors.
You can convert mixed inks to process colors to reduce printing costs. When you convert the parent of a mixed ink group to process, the parent swatch disappears, and the other swatches in the mixed ink group are converted to process colors.