I have a print job which is using only one pantone and black. I'm trying to recreate the image attached in Photoshop.

I know this effect can be done using the gradient map layer or putting a green layer as a multiply mode over the greyscale image.

When I use the duotone effect (mode-greyscale-duotone-add a black and the pantone green), the effect is not the same because the image has white in it. How can I recreate this image?

gradient map effect


1 Answer 1


There are several different ways to achieve this.

Layering in your layout application

For such a simple effect, I would normally just save a grayscale version of the image, place it in InDesign, position it on top of a Pantone green rectangle and set the Blend Mode to Multiply.

Manually adding a spot color channel

In Photoshop, you could make a grayscale version of your image, add a Spot Channel, select the Pantone color you want and fill the channel with 100% black.


In Photoshop, you could also make a grayscale version of your image, change to Duotone mode, select the Pantone color you want, enter its curve and set 0 to 100%.

  • +1 With method 2.. I'd leave the CMYK channels.. clear the CMY (fill white), leave K - paste the greyscale image to the K channel to maintain its depth.. Some RIPs like seeing the CMYK channels, even if they are empty ... then you can use Levels/Curves on the K channel to boost the green (spot) appearance a bit more if desired.
    – Scott
    Sep 23, 2022 at 23:10
  • @Scott, OK perhaps it's safer to make a CMYK file. I haven't had problems in this regard though. And yes, with this method, the image should have quite light mid tones to leave some space for the spot color to shine through.
    – Wolff
    Sep 24, 2022 at 1:08
  • @Wolff I was simply informed by a prepress person at a very well known, huge, print provider in the US (years ago) to always leave the CMYK channels, even if they were empty, because their RIP choked if they weren't present. Leaving them and they aren't needed isn't an issue, but not having them might create more prepress work, that's all. I do realize each environment can be unique and for some workflows they may be entirely superfluous. I don't disagree with anything in your excellent answer. Please don't take my comment as "criticism" in any way.
    – Scott
    Sep 24, 2022 at 1:15
  • I don't take it as criticism, don't worry. There are lots of myths and superstition in graphic design, but then again sometimes I get some of them confirmed when something that should work just doesn't. So I have a lot of small things I waste time on just to be 101% sure that I'm in control. But I've never seen using grayscale images as a problem. Do you generally avoid grayscale or only if there's spot channels involved?
    – Wolff
    Sep 24, 2022 at 9:48
  • Always CMYK if there are spot channels in Photoshop. I don't think I've ever worried about it for non-spot images. I also tend to place everything in INDD and really never use only psd files for press... so that may be a factor as well.
    – Scott
    Sep 24, 2022 at 9:57

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