I was given a logo by a client and last year I vectorised it, but it was coloured up as per the original, which was fine for her digital printing jobs. This year she wants some merch done, and the printers I am contacting are all asking for the logo to be four spot colours / or three spot colours.

This is a new area for me, and I am looking for some advice please on how to achieve this.

Or are there any agencies who would do it for a small fee?

  • 1
    How is the logo? What are the colors? and how many colors really have? Are you using gradients? What printing process they will be using? Ask the printer itself if they can do it. But you need to aproove it.
    – Rafael
    Oct 20, 2015 at 14:35
  • Welcome! If you add an image of the logo to your question that would help.
    – Dre
    Oct 20, 2015 at 15:15
  • 2
    I see you've tagged this as a Photoshop question, but it's worth noting that Illustrator is the better tool to use when working with vectors
    – JohnB
    Oct 20, 2015 at 16:23

4 Answers 4


Based on those print requirements, it sounds like you're trying to have your logo screen printed. The printers are asking for this because they want the artwork in a suitable format for the color separation process. To facilitate that, your logo needs to be constructed using exclusively spot colors.

Depending on how complicated the colors in your logo are, that might mean that you need to sacrifice some detail. Here's a quick example to show why:

Color reduction example

Pumpkin courtesy of publicdomainvectors.org

You could regain some of the pumpkin's detail with some fine-tuning and adding in more shadows, or you could even use halftones to simulate gradients. Specifically for a logo though, I think you should just avoid gradients when reducing it to spot colors.

  • What a nice transformation of the pumkin. :o)
    – Rafael
    Oct 20, 2015 at 19:19
  • Howabout dark brown instead of black?
    – joojaa
    Oct 21, 2015 at 12:14

Here is a different spin on @JohnB's separating the original into 4 colors. In Photoshop,I converted the original image from RGB into index mode and forced the design to render as 4 colors only. Next I converted back into RGB mode and created new spot channels from the 4 colors. The spot color separations are not half tones. No color overlaps another color.

enter image description here

With the separations as I created them, they are appropriate for screen printing or offset printing.

If anyone is interested in seeing the actual separations file, Here is a download link



If you will use Corel Draw, you have a possibility within vectorizing plugin to set different levels and get only four colors.

  • 1
    This is somewhat helpful - but note that OP was asking about conversion of colours from process or RGB to spot colours - and they make it clear their issue is both generalised understanding of this topic and/or resources to aid in either understanding or execution - they clearly state they "vectorised" it already. Nov 12, 2019 at 19:11

Basically they printers deal in no more than 4 colours per image. With the version you "vectorised" just change the logo to either 1 colour or as little as possible (but no more than 4).

  • 2
    "No more than 4" is relative. Some can print 6 or more. How about a cmyk process and 2 methalic ones? :o) I've seeing tshirts with at least 6 colors.
    – Rafael
    Oct 20, 2015 at 14:33

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