Adobe, Pantone and their &%(#& LaB values!

Alith7

Well-known member
This is just a rant, I have to vent somewhere where at least someone might read it who understands my pain.

I just spent the last 30 mins trying to find the Legacy Pantone swatch libraries for Illustrator because the new Pantone+ converts for &*$(%#Q&!

PMS 937.... a tint of fluorescent yellow, converting from LaB converts to C-9% M-0% Y-46% K-0%

Really. 9% Cyan. In a pale yellow. Oops, I guess you meant green, cause that's what you're going to get...

WTH Adobe?!?!?! I understand that LaB may view more accurately on screen, but could you put back your awesome old CMYK conversions? I used to be able to rely on Illustrator's breakdowns. They were almost always clean 2/3-color mixes, and I knew that that was the closest I was ever going to get to the PMS match. Usually was a better match than Pantone's Color Bridge.

Now I get this! There aren't enough swear words to explain my frustration right now....


*steps off table*
Thank you for listening to my rant.
 

Tim-Ellis

Well-known member
I have an old MacBook Pro in the office that runs CS3. (I hate to throw the old girl away).

Give me a list of colours and I'll give you a legacy convertion. Maybe even export the old library as .ase
 

Dov Isaacs

Well-known member
This is just a rant, I have to vent somewhere where at least someone might read it who understands my pain.

I just spent the last 30 mins trying to find the Legacy Pantone swatch libraries for Illustrator because the new Pantone+ converts for &*$(%#Q&!

PMS 937.... a tint of fluorescent yellow, converting from LaB converts to C-9% M-0% Y-46% K-0%

Really. 9% Cyan. In a pale yellow. Oops, I guess you meant green, cause that's what you're going to get...

WTH Adobe?!?!?! I understand that LaB may view more accurately on screen, but could you put back your awesome old CMYK conversions? I used to be able to rely on Illustrator's breakdowns. They were almost always clean 2/3-color mixes, and I knew that that was the closest I was ever going to get to the PMS match. Usually was a better match than Pantone's Color Bridge.

Now I get this! There aren't enough swear words to explain my frustration right now....


*steps off table*
Thank you for listening to my rant.

Now that you have finished your rant ...

Adobe only provides the swatches provided to us by Pantone. The current PMS spot color swatches use LAB colors and although you instruct Illustrator or InDesign to convert those to CMYK, I doubt that you will get the colors that you want.

FWIW, the reason that Pantone went to LAB color definitions as the alternative color space is that printers use a number of very different CMYK colorspaces. Pantone's old swatches provided CMYK values, but which CMYK values? SWOP? Perhaps! With color management, a CMYK color specification is totally meaningless if your CMYK colorspace is not the same as the (unspecified) PMS' alternative CMYK color space!

And in your case, you are talking about CMYK values for a very clearly out-of-gammut fluorescent yellow?

But back to your original point. If you must have matches to the old PMS color definitions, you need to contact Pantone. Adobe doesn't have them or if we did, the authority to distribute same. And if you are in fact using PMS just as an alias for a particular CMYK color you like, you would probably be much better off defining your own process CMYK (not spot color) swatch in Illustrator with those particular colors and use that.

BTW, if you already have an Illustrator document that uses the older definition, that older definition stays and thus, you would have a means of accessing that exact color.

- Dov
 

Correct Color

Well-known member
Alith

WTH Adobe?!?!?! I understand that LaB may view more accurately on screen, but could you put back your awesome old CMYK conversions?

Just to amplify, that's not the reason. It's more like a side benefit of doing it right from conception.

The problem with the old CMYK values is that, for the very reasons Dov describes, they are useless. You may have gotten results you like on one or more colors, but if you did, that was honestly just your familiarity with the old way, or luck of the draw, so to speak.

Thing is, every spot color is a name and a L*a*b* value. That's all it is, and that's how it works. The name points to the L*a*b* value and if the end-of-process RIP recognizes (be it in a pre-existing loaded library such as Pantone or as a custom-generated spot color) that named color, then it will convert that L*a*b* value into your destination color space -- which in printing is the printer profile -- as closely as it can. And it has always been thus. Even when Adobe used the CMYK values for screen display, if you sent the file to a RIP that recognized the named spot color, it would use the L*a*b* value as its aim point, not the CMYK.

How good of a match you'd get depends very much on how well the profile the RIP is using matches how the printer actually prints, but that's another story.

(If the RIP does not recognize the named color, then what the RIP does is use what's called the "alternate color" included in the postscript of the file. And the alternate color will be whatever the originating application told it to be. By far and away, the best alternate color space to use is L*a*b*, because that's the color the named spot is already pointing to. In essence by using L*a*b* as the alternate color space, you can send spot colors to RIP's that don't contain that specific color and match them just as well as to RIP's that do -- again though, how well this actually works is entirely dependent on how well the profile matches how the printer actually prints. Any CMYK value can't possibly as accurate, and -- particularly if you're in large format inkjet -- since just about any CMYK space that might get plugged in as the alternate is going to be a smaller gamut than your destination printer profile, you're never going to get an absolute optimum result.)

For years, Adobe using the CMYK values -- which as I understand it were supplied by Pantone in a color space that they never entirely shared with anyone -- was a cause of endless frustration to a lot of clients of mine, who would regularly ask why -- say -- Pantone 021 was not the same color in Photoshop and in Illustrator. The answer of course, was that it actually was but it sure didn't look that way on the screen.

So, what would happen if you created a file correctly and were properly color managed, is certain colors would print right but display wrong, but in all cases, the color values being given to the screen were not the same color values being given to the printer.

Not an effective way to maximize color control.

So from me, kudos to Adobe for making this change.

Now if they'd just include L*a*b* in the Illustrator Picker.



Mike Adams
Correct Color
 
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Danny Whitehead

Well-known member
I'd personally call Pantone 937 a pastel green. I guess that bit of 802 in the mix has quite an effect. And it's barely out of the FOGRA39 gamut.

I'm another one very much in favour of Pantone ditching those random CMYK breakdowns for Lab, but their legacy looms large.
 

Magnus

Well-known member
Since you are converting from Lab to CMYK, the rendering method is really important. You will get different results if you toggle between relative with bpc, perceptual and absolute conversion. Often when I convert Lab to CMYK I start with an absolute conversion and then proof it.
 
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MJNC

Well-known member
Hey PrintPlanet Folk;

I thought that a while ago, someone at Adobe realized that Coated and Uncoated were simply a function of substrate, and NOT ink.
Which absolutely makes sense!

It seemed that for a while, regardless of what it showed on screen, when you spec’d pms 321 in an Adobe file, the color would be composed the color of the same cmyk values in either coated or uncoated.
Which absolutely makes sense!

Now I am in Illustrator CC, and I’m getting different vales for coated and uncoated again.

I’m thinking there is a library preference or something that I am missing..? Am I dreaming?
PLEASE Help!!!

Thanks in advance,
and Peace to the Print Planet.

_mjnc :cool:
 

Danny Whitehead

Well-known member
It seemed that for a while, regardless of what it showed on screen, when you spec’d pms 321 in an Adobe file, the color would be composed the color of the same cmyk values in either coated or uncoated.
Which absolutely makes sense!

It makes absolutely no sense, since the digital Pantone Solid Coated and Uncoated libraries are intended to represent how solid inks look when printed on their respective substrates. They're not intended to represent how CMYK values will print. For that, you use CMYK process colours and assign the appropriate profile.
 

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