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CMYK to Pantone process

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  • CMYK to Pantone process

    I hope I've put this in the right forum. I debated slapping it into Color Management, but it's specific to the Adobe toolset.

    I've been designing for quite a while, but strictly only in a web-design capacity. I'm now slowly moving over to the world of print. I have a vector image created that contains two base colours and then a gradient (which makes use of those two colours). I've been asked to supply this vector image with the necessary Pantone equivalent colours. A bit of Googling gave me a relatively simple solution whereby I use Photoshop's colour picker and then click the Color Libraries button for a rough match.

    I'm sure this isn't the best way to go about things. I've read lots about Pantone colour books, but don't really consider them an option as my print work is extremely limited and I understand they're relatively expensive.

    My questions are as follows:
    1) Using Adobe Illustrator, how would you guys suggest getting accurate Pantone equivalents for my CMYK colours?
    2) How should I go about handling the images two-tone gradient? Should I just supply the start and end colour values?


  • #2
    Re: CMYK to Pantone process

    You can always open Illustrator's Pantone library and visually select the Pantone swatch that is closest to your CMYK mix on the monitor. Until you see a hard copy proof or a use a Pantone swatch book, it's going to be tough to get what you actually want since you're dealing in the two different worlds of RGB on your monitor vs. the reflective properties of ink on paper.

    To answer your second question, there is no reason that you couldn't create your vignette in Illustrator once you've determined what spot colors make up each end of it. I would caution you however that if your job prints more than two spot colors or if you are adding CMYK to your two spots, you might want to be careful to ensure that the printer has enough screen angles available to avoid a moire pattern.
    By the time I walk out of here, I'm going to be a lean, mean, prepress machine...


    • #3
      Re: CMYK to Pantone process

      I wouldnt use the monitor method because the colors probably will not match once printed. I would get a high res proof of your art that you want to print in spot colors. And then select spot pms colors for each visually using a pms swatch book. One you do this you can use the "select same as" tools and change the colors in Illustrator.


      • #4
        Re: CMYK to Pantone process

        If you really don't want to purchase a Pantone swatch book, I'd suggest that you just pick two spot colors (remember that each will separate onto a single plate so the color on screen makes NO difference at all except for your visually setting things up--we used to use process colors in the old days like cyan and magenta and then just tell the printer what colors each was actually going to be on press). The printer will have plenty of ink books to help you to match the spot colors to what you actually want. They can probably also do a "draw down" of the ink on the actual paper stock you're going to use. The only problem I can see using this method is that it might not match proofs, but at least you wouldn't have to purchase the pantone book.


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