Pantone build values

I have a customer who noted to use a pantone color but noted it as “PMS ### build”. What does “Build” mean? Is it just the CMYK equivalent?

Hi, I would assume that is what they mean but you really need to ask them for clarification. It will save you a lot of time.

I’ve seen a notation like that before and it sometimes means they started with a pantone color and moved the sliders to create a new color that is no longer pantone. You need to
a. have a swatch deck
b. verify with the client that the color is the straight up Pantone.

It’s even worse when the just change they sliders without changing the name at all. All kinds of really bad things happen then.

Pantone colors are spot, not built (or mixed), like CMYK colors. Something else to consider when choosing a Pantone or CMYK color is how it will look on uncoated paper stock. I had a situation once with Pantone 123 turned orange on uncoated paper. I had to spec Pantone 115 for uncoated paper instead. I go into a lot of detail about Pantone and CMYK colors on coated vs uncoated paper stock here if you’re interested.

Pantone colors, while spot, are definitely “built” as CMYK(cmkOGV) in wide format digital. If you want a good color match in large format, you spec the SPOT COATED color. If you give us just the CMYK formula, you get whatever you get on whatever media you are printing to, which encompasses far more than coated or uncoated paper.

Right. I was referring to the difference between spot and CMYK colors in general.