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How to Create this 2 Color Print in InDesign
David Smith on Sat, April 27th 0 comments
When going to print you may need to use a limited range of colors. In this article David Smith demonstrates how to create a 2 color print document in InDesign that still looks great.

It’s often requested that pamphlets, booklets, tri-fold brochures and the like be printed using a limited range of colors. This might be to keep printing costs down, or to emphasize a corporate brand, or indeed both. 

In this article, I will be showing you how to create your own 2 color print documents. To begin with, we are going to use Photoshop to create some 2 color images. 


Step 1 - Monochrome Image

The first step is to remove all color information from the image. Open the image in Photoshop. 

Pic 1, color mode


Select Image > Mode and choose Greyscale. Click OK when prompted with a warning about color. 


Step 2 - Duotone Image

Now that the image is Greyscale, the option becomes available to create a duotone image. 

Pic 2, duotone


Choose Image > Mode and select Duotone, which is no longer greyed out. 


Step 3 - First Color

Initially the only color available is Black. Click on the Black square to open the color picker. 

Choose Color Libraries, and select the Pantone Solid Coated color book. 

Pic 3, Color Picker

Type in 2627 on the keyboard and Photoshop will find the deep corporate purple 2627 C. 


Step 4 - Second Color

Change the type from Monotone to Duotone, this will add a second color. 

Pic 4, Second Color


Using the same technique choose 7438 C as a second color.


Step 5 - Adjust the Shadow Tones

The Duotone image is now set to the corporate colors for the print, however they are both applied evenly across the image. To push the darker color into the shadows click on the diagonal curves illustration next to the darker purple. 

Pic 5, Curves 1


Drag the curve down enough so that the darker tones in the image look more 2627 purple, and lighter areas are less 2627 purple.


Step 6 - Adjust the Lighter Tones

Click on the diagonal curves illustration next to the lighter purple. 

Pic 6, curves 2


Drag the curve up enough so that the lighter tones in the image look more 7438 purple and darker areas look less 7438 purple. 


Step 7 - Save the Image

To save the image, and at the same time embed the Pantone colors, save the image as a Photoshop EPS file and name it “Duotone Image”

Pic 7, Duotone Save


Now open inDesign


Step 8 - Place the Duotone Image

Create an A5 double page spread, with a 3mm bleed. Place the Image named Duotone onto a page so that it fills the page. 

Pic 8, placed Pic


Step 9 - Swatches

By placing the Photoshop EPS file, the 2 pantone colors will have been imported into the swatches panel. 

Pic 9, swatches


Open the swatches panel to check. This will give a foundation for the rest of your design. 


Step 10 - Complete the design

Add Backgrounds, Text Frames, etc. to get your design finished. Keep selecting either the 2627 C and 7438 C color swatches for the print. 

Pic 10, final pic


A simple yet effective workflow for creating a 2 color print.  


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