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Pantone colours


#1
Hi,

I usually work with CMYK or RGB colours but have heard a few people mention the use of pantone colour codes and providing a 3 digit number for that specific pantone. Can anybody tell me how I would specify a pantone colour using a program such as illustrator or photoshop.

Thanks
 
#2
Screen-Shot-2013-01-14-at-Mon-–-15.42.26-–-14-01-2013.jpg

It's pretty easy to specify Pantone colours. This is how you would do it in Illustrator. Then pick from the swatches.

Have a chat with your printers as well to let them know which Pantone inks you're planning on using.

Also, Pantone references aren't always a 3 digit number.

Hope that helps.
 

bigdave

Moderator
Staff member
#3
You need to make clients aware that printing in pantone colours is often much more expensive than printing in cmyk.
 

Katedesign

Well-Known Member
#4
But if they want certain colours - orange for example - that will not print very well in CMYK. Also you should get yourself a Pantone swatch (probably a 'bridge' - which shows Pantone colours next to CMYK).
 
#5
Great point Kate. You can see this in the photo below.

spotcolour.jpg

The CMYK orange is nowhere near as bright as the Pantone Orange 021.

Pantone colours are great for adding things you simply can't achieve with CMYK inks. Like fluorescent colours or metallic inks:

onecolourmetallic.jpg

Depending on your printers, Pantone inks can be cheaper if you use less. So 3 Pantone inks might work out cheaper than 4 process colours (CMYK).
 

Katedesign

Well-Known Member
#6
Yes Andy, it depends on the press the printers have/are using. Most printers with a four colour press will want to keep it in CMYK but a two colour press will (almost inevitably) be a smaller press and will be constantly changing colours and should be used for spot colour work. A 5 or 6 colour press will use one of the 'spare' heads for varnish/seal or a spot colour.
 
#7
You mention that you usually work in RGB or CMYK. Using Pantone or spot colours is an entirely different workflow and you'll have to make sure that the specified colour comes out the way intended. You can check this in separations preview. :thumb:
 
#8
But if they want certain colours - orange for example - that will not print very well in CMYK. Also you should get yourself a Pantone swatch (probably a 'bridge' - which shows Pantone colours next to CMYK).
Ironically at an old job where it was 4 colour presses, a lady came in with her business card that was Pantone 021 so a very bright orange. We explained it was CMYK so she would see some colour shift, wouldn't be as vivid etc. but since the cards were on offer she went for it. The CMYK print actually came out stronger / brighter than her previous spot job!

.. but obviously all presses can vary etc.