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CMYK vs. Pantone to PDF

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  • CMYK vs. Pantone to PDF

    I've been told that I can use either CMYK or Pantone and that it will merge down in the eps or PDF that I create.

    That doesn't fly with me at all.

    Since we have digital printers I've been trying to do everything in CMYK. No problem for me.

    But now there's an in house job that has a combination of Pantone and CMYK colors and somewhere it's picking up a control color in Corel Draw as well. We are about to print a proof on Monday/Tuesday of our new 15 page catalog/brochure.

    My monitor is so ancient - it thinks red is brown (yes, I've tried umpteen different settings in adobe gamma, programs and on the monitor itself, no go). So matching on screen is less than useless. I do have a very large CMYK chart to reference, but I fille like an office monkey going back and forth between chart and computer. I should have new equipment within the next 3 months. Yeah for me being technical director too. Until then, I bring in my laptop to do any color conversion.

    So is it best to just forget about the whole pantone palettes and stick to CMYK or does the process converting to EPS or PDF really make the whole point moot, as according to a coworker whose only worked in wide format digital print?


  • #2
    It really depends on the pantone color. Some translate with virtually no change. Others will be completely different.


    • #3
      This was along the same lines as the problems I was having. What we ultimately realized is two things.
      1. If it's being printed in CMYK make sure that all color swatches are set to process. (We had a spot color next to a process color with identical CMYK values and saw occasional huge color differeences. Not to mention transparency problems).
      2. The spot color values listed in the standard Adobe Suite don't match the color bridge values. An updated pallete can be found at (Unfortunately we are still using the spot to process books from like 5 years ago, so the values don't quite match our book either.)
      Hope that helps.
      Former GD. Current Photographer


      • #4
        Figured as much. So I'll do my own thing. The catalog is off to the printers. The proof turned out ok, just turned the middle grey bar silver for some reason or another, but we like the effect. All other colors and photos are bright and beautiful.

        I'll be posting the PDF to the website tomorrow, if anyone is interested.

        Now back to work on the site. yeah Flash!


        • #5
          Not true. We print spot colour (and spot + CMYK) jobs all the time that come to us as pdfs.
          It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" Winnie the Pooh


          • #6
            If you are printing to a digital press you will probably want to use Pantones. They translate to PDF just fine. This will make the color very consistent.However,the Pantone may not be perfect. The newest RIPS for digital have spot color editors in their utility software that allows for tweaking the recipies to allow for paper whiteness and engine calibration. This makes spots the way to go.







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