Am planning to buy some colour swatches so I can specify and pick colours accurately for print applications. Is the Pantone Guide Set sufficient or do you recomend getting the Pantone Colour Bridge Set?
Not sure from a designer’s perspective but for printing, we almost always lean towards the regular solid coated and uncoated books. We have most of the books but the bridge version always seems off when we read Lab values. When I say off I guess I am speaking more to our Epson and Press ink sets.
I agree, the Pantone Coated and Uncoated are typical enough.
Most printers will have them and when you reference this in the file they can match to their book on their end.
Agree. I just have the coated and uncoated books and another (non Pantone), four colour book I’ve had for years (kept in the dark) with squares of how 4-col breakdowns print. That said having done it for long enough, if you said, 40m90y to most of my peers, they have a pretty good idea of how that would look when printed anyway.
The bridge has the coated (and uncoated colors in it)
It’s also a cross reference so you can have an approximation of what a pantone might look like as a straight up CMYK conversion on a conventional press. That way you won’t get an unpleasant surprise should you decide to go 4-color with your pantone picks.
Just don’t apply the Bridge color numbers. Use the C and U numbers. I work in wide format (in the US) and those machines are profiled to Pantone Coated numbers. Other number systems will print “as is” on you.
Yeh had it before designer used wrong pantone book and specs the PMS Xxxc (back in the day).
They wanted purple, they got green.
I’ve rarely consulted Pantone swatch books in, probably, 20 or 30 years, which sounds a bit weird considering how often the subject comes up here.
At the beginning of my career, 4-color process work was too expensive for most jobs, so we’d pick a PMS color or two. A swatch book was an absolute necessity then.
As soon as 4-color work became the norm and all art preparation switched from drafting tables to desktop publishing, my need for a Pantone swatch book went the way of my old french curves, proportion wheels, and circle templates.
When I run into a job where a client has an official company Pantone color, that’s great. I don’t need a swatch book to specify that color in Illustrator or InDesign — I choose that color from the application’s swatch library or use the CMYK or HEX equivalent that the client typically specifies.
When I’m designing a branding project — yesterday, for example — I’ll work in CMYK and choose reasonably close Pantone equivalents from InDesign’s swatch libraries. Then, when I send the files to clients, I’ll typically include a note explaining that they might never need the Pantone colors, but if they ever do, here they are.
Judging from the number of times Pantone comes up on this forum, one might think a Pantone swatch book is a necessary tool for every designer, but honestly, it’s likely one of the least-used tools I own. Seriously, at the publications and agencies where I’ve worked over the past 30 years, Pantone swatch books have always been there, hidden away in a dark cabinet somewhere but rarely used.
From my perspective, Pantone seems like a company trying its best to maintain relevance in a world that’s passed it by. For me, as a designer or art director, precise color matching has rarely been an issue since I’m typically the person deciding which colors to use in the first place.
If I worked in prepress or had a job that regularly required matching colors between situations using different reproduction techniques and equipment, my experience would be different. However, as a designer, I rarely need to concern myself with printed swatch books — it’s just never been an issue.
Only the of odd time do I need them but they come in handy. Finding a closer uncoated vs coated.
Branding definitely need it.
It’s important at initial design stage. But after that you can just pick the swatch.
If I’m designing a branding project where I’m deciding the corporate colors, I’ll typically choose a Pantone color as the base color since matching CMYK to Pantone is more doable than the other way around.
However, for me, doing that doesn’t necessarily involve a swatch book except as a check to see if the computer screen color mostly agrees with the swatch book — especially the uncoated swatch book, which can be quite different.
I guess my main point, though, is that, in my situation, the whole Pantone thing has turned into a perfunctory exercise to anticipate the off chance that the client will at some point need the Pantone color and the even more remote chance that the client will be printing spot colors on uncoated stock.
I realize that some printers do a whole lot of spot color printing for clients who need it (like your doctor and his prescription pads, perhaps) or need to match a corporate color to a digital printer’s specs, but for some reason or another, the whole Pantone thing has been something of a rarity for me over the last 20 years. When it’s come up, it’s typically been a one-off thing for.a t-shirt or something printed on a promotional giveaway.
At the same time you do need the spot color.
And you might even need a different cmyk build that is closer to the pantone.
The weird industry I’m in revolves around Pantone color matches. Not just the wide format industry, but the general show biz industry as well, since most of the stuff we produce is a form of branding.
Pantone is far more relevant than you think when you have different parts of a production team in various parts of the country or even the world. Yeah there’s definitely variation in the fan decks and some folks don’t take proper care of their books but in the end it makes for a cohesive end result. I’m not talking just print, but also paint, carpet, laminate, and even lighting gels. The other major standard, believe it or not is Benjamin Moore Paint, LOL! Most times we are working with a complimentary palette of colors that includes both.