► Note 153

A swatchbook might just be a print designer's best friend, because it is a reference for how specific inks print and essentially how certain colors end up looking once they are printed. If you plan to do a lot of print design, it's a good idea to have handy a few different swatchbooks—one for each type of color system you use. The most common color system used by U.S. printers is PANTONE.

I recommend always referencing your swatchbook (PANTONE, TOYO, and so forth) as well. When you select specific inks, what appears on your screen might not match what your swatchbook displays, so it's a good idea to have your printer show you sample colors before your file goes to print. Likewise, how a document prints to your desktop printer is not an accurate depiction of how the file will actually separate to plates—your desktop printer usually is only capable of giving you samples of the standard CMYK plates, not special mixes. Always note when an image is a duotone in your file specification, and also provide ink "chips" (samples) to your prepress professional and printer.

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