I'm scoping a print project that will include one red PMS and black. I'm thinking the print job will be less expensive than a 4C process because there are less plates of color involved. I wanted to add a 3rd color: a 50% tint of black (grey) — will this require a third plate and thus increase the cost of my printing?

  • What's the printing process? Are halftones an option?
    – JohnB
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 20:48
  • That mostly depends on your printer. If your goal is to make things cheaper, they know which equipment they have and how it can be used. 4C process digital can be cheaper than 2PMS, it really depends on how many pieces you are looking to print.
    – curious
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 21:20

1 Answer 1


If you are printing for example on a sheeted offset, you can use simply a screen. You can print photos or whatever.

You can inclusive print red over the black. That is a duotone.

It will be cheaper only if the print house is using just one or two head machine.

If they are using a 4 head machine its probably that the cost will be the same as cmyk. Probably just a bit cheaper.

On some processes like silk print, there is a chance that the halftone is too rough and not uniform.

On digital printing the cost will be the same.

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