There seems to be a major misconception of PMS colors in digital printing by many clients. This misconception is bolstered by advertising and marketing from major companies, including Pantone Matching System itself.
The misconception is this: (According to Herbert’s 1963 Goal) A formulation of colors that will mix on any press and always look the same.
Though anyone with any experience in printing will tell you, 4 color process can almost never actually hit the Pantone color. Logic also dictates that if all presses could hit the PMS colors, we wouldn’t have needed PMS colors in the first place.
Every press prints differently as determined by several factors:
- paper brightness
- age of paper
- software calculations of colors
- each digital press has different color strengths and weaknesses
For a 4 color printed, a PMS color is a target. If I am asked to match to a previous print, we shut down the press for at least half the day. Therefore, using PMS becomes incredibly expensive.
So why am I saying this?
- Because customer expectations of color accuracy are becoming more and more unrealistic.
- Because PMS and Adobe exaggerate the accuracy in al their literature.
Pick your PMS color(s). Assign it. Get a press proof to see how close your PMS colors match. Imo that is the ONLY way to get an accurate representation of the PMS colors as they print.