Pantone Bridge CMYK Colour reference


bluepanther

New Member
Hey everyone, hope someone is able to help me on this. Does anyone have access to a Pantone colour bridge guide at all? I work for a small company and we only have the standard Pantone colour guides coated and uncoated. However a colour in our branding is getting too many inconsistencies when printing in CMYK. I have read a recent blog online which said that Adobe software cannot be relied on anymore for converting Pantone colours and the only way to get a definite CMYK colour matched to a Pantone colour is by using the bridge guide. It's way more expensive than the standard one and so I doubt my company will purchase it. We only need it for these two colours.

If anyone on this forum has access to the Bridge guide and doesn't mind supplying me with the CMYK colour values for Pantone 2727C and also Pantone 199C, I would be super grateful as well as a photo of each swatch so that I can see if the Pantone references we have chosen are just too far out of the CMYK colour gamut.

Thanks in advance, hope you are all staying safe and well.

Cheers, Nerissa
 

Jri

Member
Hi,

Sending the numeric mix values over the internet would work fine, but just a word of warning from someone who's worked in a dimly lit print shop;

The level of colour variation that you can get when photographing a Pantone book swatch for someone to then check on-screen is CRAZY. Even if - as you said - its just to check that the colour is vaguely similar - there are just too many lighting/screen/camera/colour profile related variables, black turns to gold turns to red turns to green etc...

Sorry to be a downer - just trying to save you form being mislead by some old halogen lightbulb in an dingey office miles away (not that anyone here occupies such a cavern :)).

Jri
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Hey everyone, hope someone is able to help me on this. Does anyone have access to a Pantone colour bridge guide at all?
Doubt you need this at all.

I work for a small company and we only have the standard Pantone colour guides coated and uncoated. However, a colour in our branding is getting too many inconsistencies when printing in CMYK.

I have read a recent blog online which said that Adobe software cannot be relied on anymore for converting Pantone colours and the only way to get a definite CMYK colour matched to a Pantone colour is by using the bridge guide.
What a load of nonsense - Adobe is the leading standard in the design for print world.

If you're converting the Pantone colour to CMYK - then you are controlling the conversion - and if it's the same Adobe PDF used each time then the CMYK values are always going to be identical.

What you're coming up with is probably the printing of the pieces by various print providers - even the same print provider, using a different printing machine (yes it could be different from 2 different lithographic printing machines) - and you'd also see colour variations moreso in digital printing.

In short - if you're converting the colours to CMYK then the CMYK values should be the same - and the printers should be able to match your printed colours.


The Bridge guide is only a representation of how the Pantone colour MAY look when printed in CMYK - it's a side-by-side comparison of the Pantone ink alongside the CMYK version - as Pantone and CMYK have different gamuts, and some Pantones/CMYK or out of gamut.

Gamut is just a colour range - and here's a diagram of what is meant by "out of gamut".

As you can see - Pantone has a wider gamut and larger array of colours it can print outside of CMYK - CMYK is the smallest gamut (range of colours) that can be produced. When you convert Pantone to CMYK anything that is "out of gamut" is changed to the CMYK reference in that little triangle of colours we see beneath.

What Bridge offers is the chance to view the Pantone colour alongside the CMYK colour to see what the difference is when converted from Pantone to CMYK.

There are other variables, like humidity, paper type, heat, cold, type of printing press and other factors.

Most printers would have the Bridge book and be able to make this comparison on your behalf.




It's way more expensive than the standard one and so I doubt my company will purchase it. We only need it for these two colours.
You should ask them - that's the best way to find out! But you don't need this.

What it would be good for is to find a CMYK breakdown closer to your Pantone - as it's sometimes not a straight swap to go directly from Pantone to the CMYK version - as you can see by the diagram above, the CMYK version may be out of gamut to the Pantone version - so adjusting your CMYK breakdown to a closer match of the Pantone colour would be the best option.

If anyone on this forum has access to the Bridge guide and doesn't mind supplying me with the CMYK colour values for Pantone 2727C and also Pantone 199C, I would be super grateful as well as a photo of each swatch so that I can see if the Pantone references we have chosen are just too far out of the CMYK colour gamut.
A photo won't be colour accurate.

There's an online site https://www.pantone.com/color-intelligence/color-education/x-ref



The best thing to do when using Spot Colours in print - is to leave it all as Spot Colours and send it to the printers.

Adobe don't breakdown colours into CMYK - they are colour profiles supplied to Adobe that is used to convert the Pantone to the CMYK based on the printing colour profile required, like Euroscale or Coated Gracol.

Adobe are not converting - but using supplied Colour Look Up Tables (CLU Tables) to convert the Pantone to the CMYK for the profile required.


That's why - it's your best bet to leave the Pantone Colours as is - as your print provider will convert the file to CMYK in their RIP - and RIPs tend to have the most up to date CLU Tables to refer to. Plus the printing company will also be able to know what Pantone colour you are looking to reproduce - and have a reference to compare the Pantone colour the CMYK print - and make the adjustment on the press to get as close as a match as possible.


What you should also be doing is using a single print provider where possible - but if you're using multiple printers using lithographic printing or digital printing - to supply them a sample to match the colours - where possible.


If you must supply CMYK files - then also provide them with the Pantone Colours you are looking to be as close to as possible.

But typically this day and age - supplying a file with the spot colours yields better results than managing a Colour Conversion on your own end without knowing the printing presses that it will be outputting your files.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
You also should never embed your colour profile in your PDF as printers wills strip this out anyway and use their own colour profile that is matched to the printing machines.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
You also should never embed your colour profile in your PDF as printers wills strip this out anyway and use their own colour profile that is matched to the printing machines.
If they know what they're doing lol

I remember back at uni when the tutors gave us all a set of colours, settings etc to adhere to for consistency for an exhibition of our work.... we then left the files to get printed. The uni printers basically had 3 epson printers (so 'shouldn't' be that different) and the end result, especially on the grey colour we were given, varied so much depending on the machine (sometimes from the same person but printed over 2 printers) they came out of it was pretty comical. Some was cool grey, some warm grey, some a dark charcoal when it was more a neutral mid grey. We basically said we could have got closer colours by colouring by hand lol
 
Last edited:

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Basically - I can send the same print job to the 3 different print places and get 3 different colour differences.

Heck, even on normal work - in the same job there can be colour difference where there shouldn't be any!

Here's one I picked up at random and went to a random page - it may not be obvious in the picture - but to my eye the colours variance is a lot!

20200330_151538.jpg


I'd say you do this with a lot of magazines - fan the pages back and compare the colours - there will be variances.


I've rejected jobs for less to be honest.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Basically - I can send the same print job to the 3 different print places and get 3 different colour differences.
If that's aimed at me, I'm not on about that level of minor variance... that's nothing to worry over, I'm on about several shades different... think greyscale having 10 bars of difference, we had variance of +/-4 shades if not more from the 'correct' colour... it was REALLY bad.

It couldn't be down to the user either because it was also happening between 2 files from the same person.... where everything was all matched up etc.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Well - if all were made the same.
Then all printers would need to be calibrated to the same standard - if they weren't calibrated prior to printing then that's where you'd see variance.

I often had to calibrate a digital printing machine mid way through a print job due to the colour variance going completely out of whack.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Well - if all were made the same.
Then all printers would need to be calibrated to the same standard - if they weren't calibrated prior to printing then that's where you'd see variance.

I often had to calibrate a digital printing machine mid way through a print job due to the colour variance going completely out of whack.
No idea what the actual reason was (we just left it to the tutors to sort out) but honestly that is still to this day some of the worst printing I have ever come across....
 
Last edited:
Top