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Thread: Custom Spot Color vs ICC Profile

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Custom Spot Color vs ICC Profile

    In InDesign, if there's two colored squares next to each other:
    1) Is a color made in CMYK; as 48/47/44/22.
    2) Is a named spot color (i.e. "Grey Paper").
    Fiery Command > Spot Colors; is utilizing a color replacement with the same named "Grey Paper" CMYK breakdown of 48/47/44/22.

    Color Made in CMYK (1):
    Our workflow is applying first; the Input Profile, then the Calibration (Output Profile).
    Named Spot Color (2):
    Workflow is applying just the Calibration (Output Profile).

    Even though the 2 squares are both being identified as (48/47/44/22) the visual and final CMYK values are quite different.

    Is there a way to:
    1) Cause the "Spot Color" to receive the same steps in the workflow (Input + Calibration)?
    2) Open in Photoshop, a (Flattened / Rasterized) version of the document that has been fully processed with the profiles within the Fiery RIP, so a color picker in Photoshop could be used to determine the adjusted CMYK values (post-profiling)? I know this to be common to older rips that apply halftones & separations, etc.
    3) Photoshop the same CMYK value: Edit > Convert to Profile (using the ICC profile that's used in Fiery) to duplicate the conversion? Issue I'm having is, that Conversion Options > Intent(i.e. Absolute Colorimetric, Perceptual, etc.) that is nothing is getting close to the same transforms (and it's not clearly identified which intent that Fiery uses).

    A solution to any one of the 3 above questions would be of great help, and would truly be appreciated!

  2. #2
    adam1991 is offline Fiery Forum Expert Contributor adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful
    Join Date
    Feb 2010


    Tell the job, in the job ticket (Color tab/Basic button), not to use the spot color feature.

    When you uncheck that box, you'll see the color flow arrow change from going straight to calibration, and move upward to going through CMYK processing.

    The Fiery is doing everything correctly. You just need to tell it to behave differently when you don't want the spot simulation feature.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013


    Thanks Adam for taking the time to reply. I've attached an image that depicts the issue (still confusing) yet a little more visual than the question above.

    Since, posting the question I've come across the utility "EFI ImageViewer" which would instantly solve the issue yet, alas we are without the "Premium" suite, and it would be tuff to convince management to upgrade for this small issue alone.

    Either questions would be a solve-all to a complete a hick-up in our workflow.
    1) Flattened raster of the final output w/ profiles; PDF'ed, exported, dug out of a cache folder somewhere, etc...
    2) A way to force "Spot Color Matching" to step in front of the "Output Profile" so it gets the same conversion as the CMYK on the fly.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Name:  FierySpotColorMatch.jpg
Views: 3348
Size:  372.3 KB

  4. #4
    adam1991 is offline Fiery Forum Expert Contributor adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful
    Join Date
    Feb 2010


    You're overthinking it. (2) is your answer, but you have to set things up correctly in the source document.

    Go back to what I said: for what you've described, turn off spot simulation in the job ticket. And make sure that the same build is listed in your source document as the alternate color. Your build is 48/47/44/22. So in InDesign (for example), when you create a named spot color, you must also define a CMYK alternate for InDesign to send down with the file. Put 48/47/44/22 as that alternate build.

    When you use a named color, AND you have that named color in the spot list with a custom build, it sends that build straight to the engine (via calibration). That's what spot color simulation is built to do.

    If you turn off spot color simulation, then the Fiery ignores whatever custom build is in the list and then looks at the alternate CMYK definition that's in the file--and passes it through the CMYK processing path.

    So try it. Make those two colors in InDesign just like I said--one that's nothing but the 48/47/44/22 build, another that's defined as a named color but with the 48/47/44/22 as the CMYK alternate. Make sure your spot color library has your spot name in it with that 48/47/44/22 build set up. Send the job down to the Fiery and test it both ways, with spot simulation on and off.

    Want to test it some more? In the Fiery, change the build of your custom spot name to something weird--0/100/100/0--and then test the file both ways again. Watch the patch that's printed with spot simulation turned on go bright red, but with spot simulation off it will be the result of putting the alternate 48/47/44/22 build through the CMYK channel.

    Spot simulation was never intended to match the results of the same build going through the CMYK processing path. To the contrary, spot simulation was intended to bypass the negative consequences of that.

    When you want a specific color, you use named colors (spot simulation). When you send a CMYK build through the CMYK path, you will not get that same CMYK build out. You will get something else that results from your build being converted to L*a*b* and washed through the simulation profile before being turned back to some other engine-specific CMYK build.

    The goals of CMYK simulation and spot simulation are completely different, as are the details of how they are processed.

    The reason EFI provided the switch to turn spot simulation on and off is what I think you're intending: proofing. In an offset situation, you may want to see what the file will look like if you use extra towers to make the spot (spot on) or if you're simply going to put it through a conventional 4 color press (spot off).

    ImageViewer doesn't play here with the discussion and your question as you've laid it out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Get a SPOT and CMYK colour to match

    Hi Bandersen,

    If I understand correctly you need 2 colours, one defined as CMYK the other as SPOT, to print using the same colour values but you are getting 2 different colours.

    It is quite simple to achieve this, but you need to be careful with the options set within InDesign AND the Colorwise workflow on the Fiery.

    InDesign document using the CMYK colour space Fogra Coated 39.
    Colour Patch 1 - CMYK values = 22/27/41/1
    Colour Patch 2 - SPOT named “Stone” with CMYK values 22/27/41/1

    Select File > Print then set the following in the InDesign print dialog:

    Output > Colour : Composite Leave Unchanged

    Colour Management > Options > Colour Handling : Let Postscript Printer Determine Colours THEN make sure that the preserve CMYK number check box IS ticked.

    Leaving all colour settings on the RIP (i am using an EX560) at factory defaults - IE spot colour on, cmyk simulation on etc.

    Both colours will print using CMYK 18/27/44/0 and will look the same.

    Your question then may be why do they not print as 22/27/41/1?

    This is because the colour management system has been asked to convert the colours to CMYK source profile GRACoL2006 Coated1 (EFI), then to the output profile of my device (Media Defined).

    22/27/41/1 becomes 18/27/44/0 - that is the colour values my device needs to use to get the ‘correct’ colour, based on the colours in the original document which used the colour space Fogra 39.

    Because i have not created a SPOT colour called “Stone” on the Fiery, patch 2 cannot be processed as a SPOT and the printer falls back to using the CMYK values that were defined for that colour in InDesign.

    IF you want both colours to print using 22/27/41/1

    Create a custom SPOT colour on the Fiery with values 22/27/41/1 - the name must be the same as that was used in InDesign, in this example “Stone”.

    If i reprint the file i will get 2 different colours. My SPOT patch now uses 22/27/41/1 but my CMYK patch still uses 18/27/44/0

    To get the CMYK patch to print using 22/27/41/1 go into colour wise tab and change the CMYK Source profile to Bypass Conversion.

    BOTH colours are now 22/27/41/1

    Getting the colours to print the same is easy, but getting them through the colour management system without conversion from your original numbers requires the application and Fiery to work together. I'm not sure if that's what you are trying to do, but i thought it best to go through both ways.

    If your workflow involves importing PDFs via command workstation use the same colour settings on the Fiery (Spot= on, CMYK Sim = Bypass). When exporting the PDF make sure to set Output > Colour = No Colour Conversion so that your colour numbers are preserved.

    The Graphic Arts Premium Edition is expensive, but worth the price - especially when you are trying to understand what the RIP is doing.


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