Setting Up a Business Card With Pantone Ink In Adobe Illustrator

First thing we will need to do to in order to setup a business card with a Pantone PMS Ink (aka Spot / Solid ink); open your otherwise print-ready artwork in Adobe illustrator
In order to incorporate your Pantone PMS ink we will need to select the desired ink from the specific Pantone Colour Book library. If your Swatches dialog window is not open, you will need to open now (Window > Swatches).

Within your Swatches dialog use the sub navigation menu, we will select “Open Swatch Library” > Color Books > Pantone Solid Coated (for the purpose of this tutorial). The Pantone Solid Coated library will open displaying the roughly 1,000+ Pantone PMS Solid colour or spot colour inks. If will be challenging to find your desired ink visually, so in order find the PMS color we want, we are going to use the search box within this dialog (sub navigation; "Show Find Field"). Within the find field type your Pantone PMS code, for this tutorial we will use 877. With 877 entered in find field, the requested ink PMS 877 C will be highlight in the library. We will need to click this swatch in the library and drag it into the our document Swatches dialog.

(Within our document Swatches dialog, we will see the newly added swatch. Notice this swatch has a white triangle in the bottom right corner, this indicates the swatch is in fact a SPOT swatch (meaning a SOLID ink not a PROCESS ink)

Select any elements (vector objects) which you want to apply the Pantone PMS ink, with these objects selected, now click the PMS 877 C swatch (within the document Swatch dialog) and we will see that the element(s) selected now have the fill colour Pantone 877 C.

Important note: Please be sure that your Pantone PMS / SPOT ink elements are not interacting with any of your CMYK elements via with any kind of transparency, blending modes or effects--meaning, we want to prepare a colour-separated file.

The document is now ready to be saved as a PDF File, from top menu File > Save As. Give a new name to the file that differentiates it from the original file. We will select Adobe PDF under the “Save as type’ drop down menu at the bottom of the Save As dialog window.

In the save as PDF Settings > Compression tab, we will want to ensure we are not unexpectedly compressing any of our raster / bitmap images, select "Do Not Downsample” under Color / Grayscale / Monochrome Bitmap Images, as well make sure you using a lossless compression (select ZIP Compression) or no compression at all (NONE). Lastly, under the Output tab, double-check you are not using any Color Conversion, to ensure your ink values are not unexpectedly changing when saving as PDF.

Click Save and your print-ready PDF file will be saved to the location indicated.

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