Can you spot your colors?
Pantone vs. CMYK
Pantone inks are used when you need a specific spot color or when printing in one or two-colors. When printing in CMYK, such as on a brochure with photos, Pantone colors are usually converted to Process (CMYK — Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black). While some Pantone colors convert well to CMYK, some look drastically different. In the example, Pantone 252 does not convert as well as Pantone 485.
When choosing a Pantone color, be sure to look at a conversion guide for colors that work well. Specialty inks such as metallics, fluorescents and pastels should always print in spot color, as they do not convert well.
- Consider all possible projects and their production
process before deciding on Pantone versus CMYK.
Reference a printed Pantone color guide when
- Convert Pantones to CMYK if printing in full-color
before sending the files for production. Check the
color shift that occurs when printing on coated
versus uncoated stock.
- Use specialty inks, such as metallics and fluorescents,
they will not convert to CMYK and have the same effect.
- Create custom colors by adjusting CMYK values in a file,
start with a known Pantone color and then convert to
CMYK. You will not always be able to find a matching
Pantone color for a custom color.
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Pantone vs. CMYK Ink is part of a series of tips to help enhance all your print projects.
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