Frankly Speaking: Paper is Part of the Process
Well over 80 percent of all Pantone colors can be printed from the CMYK toners/inks that most printers use. HP Indigo printers are capable of up to seven colors and Pantone and other special colors can be mixed. The Kodak NexPress has a fifth toner station and can handle many special colors and effects. Canon Océ also provides special inks. Some Xerox printers can print special clear toners for dramatic effects.
Most newer digital printers have excellent software that makes some decisions for you. Designers who use RGB color models are saved by automatic RGB-to-CMYK conversions, although this is never recommended. It ideal to work in CMYK, but some workflows let you work in RGB. Many workflows can also accept files profiled for offset litho for conversion, and this is also ungood. Do not rely on automatic conversion. You should ultimately create for the system you'll be using. Proper file preparation is still mandatory no matter how you print. BB
Frank Romano is RIT Professor Emeritus with over 50 years in book technology and publishing.