My working file is currently a two channel artwork in Photoshop, one black channel with one Pantone spot color channel over it. How do I prepare these files for press?

On PDF export it only shows a negative of the Pantone channel (which makes sense), but do I then just advise the printer to print of 100% K?

"negative" desired


  • I edited to make it clear this is a Photoshop question.
    – Lucian
    Mar 9 at 14:16
  • I do not understand "only shows a negative of the Pantone Channel" -- that seems incorrect and does not "make sense" to me. Are there overprints? Can you include some images (even just a small, cropped section) of how to two inks should interact?
    – Scott
    Mar 9 at 18:16
  • 1
    That does make more sense... and can depend on what app you are using to view the resulting PDF. Many PDF viewers can't handle spots.. use Acrobat or Reader only. If you save the PDF to PDF/X-1a it should be correct. Often the spot channel, on its own, does merely look like a greyscale channel. It's not technically a color until the ink goes into the press.
    – Scott
    Mar 9 at 18:40
  • 1
    Using Acrobat it's rather easy to confirm the resulting PDF is correct.. there's the ink manager and tools for checking things.
    – Scott
    Mar 9 at 18:54
  • 1
    When you say " it only shows a negative" - what software are you using to view the PDF? Can you try Adobe Reader/Acrobat instead?
    – Billy Kerr
    Mar 10 at 12:21


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