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Does Paper Color Count as a Printing Color?

When someone tells you that a printing job is a two color job and that it's printed on creme paper, does that mean that it uses one ink color and the stock color?

In a word, no. When a printer or designer talks about a two-colored job, they are referring to the number of colors of ink on the press. (Yes, black counts as a color.) One could be using rainbow colored stock with black ink and it would still be a one-color job. With the exception of the extra cost of paper stock (rainbow trees don't come cheap), the job would cost the same as if you were printing on white paper.

What can be deceiving sometimes is if a designer uses a very light tint of one of the ink colors on the background of a page so that appears that the stock is a different color than what it truly is. One can tell if this being done by taking a printer's loop or magnifying glass and looking very closely at the paper to see if there's a fine dot pattern.

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