Process color vs. Spot, or solid color - Pantone.com

What is the difference between spot and process colors?

PANTONE Solid Colors, also commonly referred to as 'spot' colors, are produced by mixing inks to a given shade and then laying the ink on paper in a single pass. This is commonly done in one or two-color print jobs.

PANTONE Process Colors are produced using four-color process, or CMYK, where an image is separated into cyan, magenta, yellow and/or black values, and printed as a series of dots of the colors, printed in close proximity to each other. When viewed by the human eye, the dots are blended to create the illusion of a solid field of color.

Please note that these terms also relate to color in general; i.e., you could restate your question as 'what is the difference between solid and process colors' and the result would be the same.

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