Color Profile for Previewing Pantone Colors

Affinity Designer offers the following print color profiles:

Shoud I use a FOGRA or a U.S. profile to preview my Pantone-based designs? Which specific one(s) would be best?

I serve clients all over the world and my role ends when the final files are delivered.

Is it printed in the US on a Web Offset Printer?

What does the printer want?

Ultimately it’s no concern.

You should have a Pantone Book and you can view the color Swatch in the printed book.

This is what the printers match to. The printed book, not the color profile.

If printed cmyk…
Technically if you can leave it as pantone the printers should have Colour Lookup Tables built into their RIP which has the correct cmyk conversion.

If they want you to do the conversion to cmyk for them, they can supply joboptions file which will have all the correct settings for their output device.

I’m not overly familiar with affinity any longer.
But if you’re not sure then use a generic one like Euro or something.

Don’t embed the color profile.

Ultimately it is a discussion with the printer.

But for affinity I don’t think it will matter as long as you leave it as pantone, don’t convert it.
And don’t embed color profiles.

By all means send a color sheet with pantone and cmyk breakdowns to the printers.

Thank you very much. :slight_smile:

I would like to know which profile is going to be closest to a physical book?

Some Pantone colors get visibly darker or brighter when I switch between the U.S. SWOP/Sheetfednand the various FOGRA profiles.

It doesn’t matter what it looks like on screen.

It only matters what it looks like in print.

Pantone is an ink - it will be mixed on the day - and matched to the pantone book.

If it’s going to be CMYK - then you need to know what the output profile would be - and only the printer knows that.
And they will match it to the Pantone book.

If you fiddle around with it - make it CMYK - assign profiles to it - and whatever else you might end up tainting it.


Wow. :open_mouth:

I’m genuinely surprised and impressed by that guy’s skills.

That’s what a printer does.

I used to do it myself.

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Much depends on the nature of the physical book.

If it’s a larger book where several thousand copies will be printed (a large run), it will likely print on a web press. Smaller runs will typically print on sheetfed presses.

If the book contains photos, illustrations, or colorful graphics, designers usually specify printing on coated stock. For other books, printing on uncoated stock is typical.

If the book is for print-on-demand publication with, for example, IngramSpark or Kindle, the printing will likely take place on a digital press on whatever paper is specified by the customer.

Even though you’re discussing a color standard — Pantone — ink will look different depending on the substrate material (typically paper) and, to an extent, the press on which it’s printed.

Printers’ ink is largely transparent or translucent when printed, which means the substrate will show through. Printing on off-white paper means the color of the paper will combine with the inks to produce a slightly darker version than if printed on white paper.

Printing on coated stock will produce more vivid colors since the ink will sit on the paper’s surface rather than being absorbed into the paper. Printing on uncoated stock will look duller because the ink soaks into the paper. This is why Pantone has separate books for coated and uncoated papers — the same ink will look different depending on which paper is used. As the ink soaks into the uncoated stock, it spreads out a bit (dot gain). This spread increases the size of any halftone dots, making the printing darker, which means the printer will need to adjust for the dot gain.

The color profiles simulate how the work will look when printed on various presses on various papers when printed by typical printers in various countries.

If I’m not mistaken, you’re mostly concerned with supplying clients with the right colors. However, all the things I mentioned above are largely beyond your control — they’re what subsequent designers and printers who use the logos will need to consider.

As @Smurf2 mentioned, with Pantone, printers will match to the Pantone standards, not to what you might or might see on your monitor.

When I’m in a similar situation to yours and don’t know how the end product will be printed, I’ll use what seems to be the most common profile. For me, this is typically U.S. Sheetfed Coated, but I don’t typically include the profile in the final file unless a printer requests it. In your case, your logos will be placed in other documents by other designers, so the final result will depend on how they handle all these things.

Adobe’s default profile seems to be U.S. Web Coated (SWOP), which I’ve never understood since web press printing isn’t the most common.

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Thank you very much. :slight_smile:

I meant a Pantone book. :wink:

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