How do I turn a full color design, into a 1-color design?


I was asked to design a piece of junk-mail advertising. It has to be one color. Here are links of how it should look:



What I want to know is, how do you get your design like that?

It's like everything was full color and changed to black and white.... well in this case to blue and white.

Is there a specific way to design like that. Or can you design in full color, and the printers will print it only in one color?

1/9/2013 5:12:00 PM

Accepted Answer

Design in greyscale, black and white. And it's printed with one ink. It doesn't matter what color that ink is. It's still just one color.

Don't use Pantone or spot colors, just design everything with black and white. The printer will use whatever ink color they choose.

There is never a reason one would need to use one spot color to design something like this. There's absolutely no benefit to designing a one color print project using one spot color. All you essentially do is create more work for yourself. Whether you use greyscale/black & white or a single spot color, in the end all that's output is a single color plate. That single plate is put on a press and the color is chosen by the press operator. Just because you go to all the work of setting up a file using Pantone 286U, the press operator can still simply put Pantone 185C into the ink wells for the press and run the job red rather than blue.

If your client isn't conceptual enough to understand that all you need is one color (black), you should still design the ad in black. Then for approval simply tint or apply a temporary color overlay to shift the color for client approval. I've never had a client fail to understand that the color is determined by the ink on the press and that the design still needs to be black and white.

1/10/2013 3:17:00 AM

There's multiple approaches to this, but the best way is probably to ask the printer how you should deliver stuff to them. It's highly probable they allow you to send in a black and white .pdf/.jpg/.eps and will convert it to blue themselves.

If you need to create a page or publication like this from scratch, you'll need to know the Pantone (PMS) colour you need to create the image in. Layout the ad in InDesign using this PMS colour and only this. It might be useful to add it as a swatch, and remove all others.

Any pixel images you place need to be converted to monotone in Photoshop. You can convert an image to monotone by first setting the mode to 'grayscale' ('Image' > 'Mode' > 'Grayscale') and then to monotone ('Image' > 'Mode' > 'Duotone'). Choose 'Monotone' for the Type and select your PMS colour for the ink. Save as a .psd and place in InDesign.