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  • Pantone guides

    I'm looking for Pantone guides in coated, uncoated and matte finish, so that I can for example pick a logo color based on how it will look printed. Is there any of the guides containing the closest CMYK values to each pantone color?

    I'm a bit confused on the differences between Color Bridge, Formula Guide, Solid Chips and GoeGuide. What to get?

    And it also has to be available for shipping to Norway. Anybody got a link for me?

  • #2
    Have I ever mentioned how much I hate Pantone?

    Skip the GoeGuide. It would serve Pantone right if everyone ignored it. The first designer that makes me shell out over $400 for a Goe book is gonna be on my shitlist for a VERY long time. (Granted the color organization may be better but how many standards do we really need?)

    Pantone used to be all helpful on their site. They had a chart you could download that gave all the CMYK numbers for each color. I haven't seen it there for years (but I printed it out hee hee hee). They do not have it any more. In your programs, you can select a Pantone color swatch then in your color palette you can hit the tip arrow and tell it to convert to CMYK, that will give you the numbers.

    Watch out for Bridge colors. This is supposed to somehow replace the Solid to Process guide they no longer sell. Even though they have the same PMS numbers (with a pc or ec after them) they are NOT the same color formulae. I wish someone would explain to me how and why they use this system (anyone?). The fandeck I have shows the PMS color number then next to it shows the same number in the Bridge system but a different color (or how it would look printed CMYK). WHY would anyone actually apply these colors to their files is beyond me. For wide format it causes all kinds of problems. To us it is yet another numbering system, or rather the same one with different colors applied....

    I don't know if the Process guide will help you. I haven't seen one of those recently but maybe a conventional printer here has one. It used to be yet another color numbering system, not CMYK equivalents.

    You could do fine with just the Solid coated,uncoated,matte books. Some even get the Metallic coated book (has more colors then the coated metallic section of the coated book). If you get the chip sets, you can send your specific chip along with your job. Makes it easier for your printer to actually match the specific date your book was printed if you provide it. The fandecks might be cheaper though.

    I use Hyatt's Art Supplies. They have the books discounted and they sell individual pages of the chip sets. Don't know if they ship to Norway.
    Last edited by PrintDriver; 11-23-2007, 09:16 AM.


    • #3
      Oh, and the formula guide is for mixing the Pantone ink system for spot color inks. It doesn't, or at least id didn't, give CMYK breakdowns.


      • #4
        Hey PD, could you elaborate a little more on the bridge colors, because I use the PC swatches because it's the first time all the colors match for all my design programs? I know that they changed a few of the cmyk breakdowns from the old process to coated guides, but overall it seems to be better with my print tests, and easier from a software perspective.
        If only it were as easy as having an open-source standard eh?
        Former GD. Current Photographer


        • #5
          Quick question PD-what would you recommend to see what the CMYK result would be from a PMS color. Right now I have a color bridge and recently ran into an issue where the PMS color and the CMYK breakdown that the printer had was completely different then what my book had. Since we do print a lot of our work in CMYK it would be really helpful to see something pretty accurate to the PMS even though not all PMS colors translate to CMYK very well. I hope I don't have to open another thread Just let me know if I do.


          • #6
            Did you apply the Bridge color?

            Open Illustrator. Make sure you are in CMYK color space (usually the default). Make a square. fill it with your pantone PMS Solid Coated color. go to your color palette. With the fill showing, go to the tip arrow and click CMYK. You will get the numbers you need.
            As an experiment, apply your Bridge color. do the same. Notice the numbers are different.

            Edit...I should have asked first what program you were using........and what book you are talking about. Pantone changed their formula numbers in the year 2000 on a high percentage of their colors. Quark will sometimes show different numbers too and Quark 7 has the Bridge colors loaded. Sometimes mistakes happen - on both sides.
            Last edited by PrintDriver; 11-23-2007, 08:47 PM.


            • #7
              I was working in InDesign and I was using a Pantone Color Bridge Coated (2005 when I bought it). So when I had the PMS color within the doc and then changed it to CMYK, the color matched my book. But, when I got the doc back the color was pretty off and when I spoke with the printer about it they had different numbers. Do you think that a printer would get miffed if I asked them what CMYK breakdown they had for a PMS color since I can't depend on my book?
              Last edited by teniworks; 11-23-2007, 09:10 PM.


              • #8
                But what color did you apply in InDesign?
                A solid coated color or a Bridge color?
                If you applied the solid coated color to your file but expected the Bridge color on your printout, you may have been disappointed. You say the printer had different numbers? What numbers?

                I really can't go to far into this in conventional 4-color print. Not my field. Someone will come along, I'm sure.


                • #9
                  Ask the printer if they color match. Some printers don't; so don't assume that your print will match exactly if you don't discuss it with the printer. Also the conversion from a Pantone to a CMYK may also be off anywhere from 5% to 30% by the type of print process, substrate, and finish.

                  You both need to be working off the same color forumla. Then work with them on a proof (or two) to match your ideal color with their process.

                  It really comes down to file setup. When we print out a test match and there's three different substrates (banner, sign, and brochure) there will be three different files with three different formulas. This will ensure our best output for the client. We can work out everything in house, but if you are working with outside printers -proofs are the only way to be sure that what you want is really what you are going to get.

                  Don't expect the printer to magically come up with a print profile to make your colors work the way your screen says they are going to work. Or even if you print it out on your office printer. If your numbers are off you'll need to fix them in your document.

                  In the perfect world all CMYK (4process) printers are all calibrated to the same system specs. That's never going to happen. It's the designers responsibility to proof the process to ensure color correction in their files for the end printer to do their job. If you don't get a proof, then you can't complain when the print is wrong.



                  • #10
                    Drazan, it never occurred to me that the printer may have done swaps in a 'doc' as Teni described it. I only thought us large format people did that.
                    In which case yes, most times it does take an entirely different formula to nail a PMS color. But you either leave that up to the printer and get a proof, or you ask for a printed PMS chart and select the swatch off the chart that is gonna work in print for you. It takes a huge leap of faith for a designer to do this kind of charting cuz what you see on your monitor using a swap chart is gonna be wicked scary looking as far as color goes. I've not heard of it being done in press. Digital or standard plate. My hat's off to the printer if he's going that far with a digital press...


                    • #11
                      I've never had a monitor that was calibrated properly. Even now, my new flat monitor can't show maroon - it shows up this funky puke brown, and teal is blue. But I know my numbers and I know our print process and I know how the monitor shows certain colors so I can work around it.

                      Then there's the whole issue of outputting. Is profiles sent with the file? Is it exported in RGB or CMYK? Is it a mix file with both?

                      If it is a color match, I set up anywhere from 6-10 squares on my artboard. I change each square to a slightly different formula around the color I want to hit. I type the formula at the bottom of each square. Then I export the bunch and sent to print, using the actual substrate I want the final on. 99% of the time one of those squares will match exactly and I make a note in my document of the color spec, output, and substrate. I also charge the customer an extra hour + proof to do this.

                      PrintDriver, we only color match on request. Our printers are not calibrated. It would cost over $10K (according to our rep) and since we only do color match a couple times a month, it's not worth the cost. I feel that there are many printers out there who can't justify the cost for calibration. And unless the computers were all the same, the monitors all the same, the color profiles were all the same, the output was all the same - it won't matter anyway. A ton of designers still go by what their screen or inkjet printer says. There's no way to get everyone on the same level, it's impossible.


                      • #12
                        Draz, have you checked out NazDar's CatzPaw? For the color block matrix maker alone it might be worth the cost depending on how much of that you do and works with a spectrophotometer. (I'll have to get back to you on the name of that product, it's not coming up in a web search. It was new at the SGIA show so maybe not released yet.)

                        I have vendors all across the gamut as far as getting their machines calibrated. I have only one that is calibrated across all processes. They are so good, they can match across different media (mostly) but if you want to hit an exact color they still have to charge you for it. Most others are still in some form of charting or using spectrophotometers to match colors.


                        • #13
                          It will be a few months before anything is authorized to purchase again. We are headed in to a merge in about 6 week (they are closing up and coming to us). So after all the "gear" is sorted and moved, then we'll be looking at new stuff. There's already a list.

                          I'm the color match person of the group and usually get it right on the first proof. We do have a couple CMYK charts on the wall. Each printed on a different substrate (one calendar and one cast). Once in a while I actually use them.


                          • #14
                            yeah, I have too many charts to count too, but making the shotgun test is sooooo tedious for those hard to reach colors, or for those way-too-picky clients...


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PrintDriver
                              I use Hyatt's Art Supplies. They have the books discounted and they sell individual pages of the chip sets. Don't know if they ship to Norway.
                              Thanks for the info. They ship abroad, but it would have cost me the ridiculous amount of $92 just for the shipping (!).

                              Anybody know of any stores that don't charge more for shipping than their Pantone fandecks?






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