• Global community
    • Language:
      • Deutsch
      • English
      • Español
      • Français
      • Português
  • 日本語コミュニティ
    Dedicated community for Japanese speakers
  • 한국 커뮤니티
    Dedicated community for Korean speakers

PANTONE cmyk values in Illustrator do not match the PANTONE book, bridge, or website values

New Here ,
Sep 19, 2017 Sep 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

What we've done is tried to create a few different swatches using the Solid + Coated versions for 485 (485C), Cool Gray 9 (Cool Gray 9C), and a few other default swatches in Illustrator CC. The color values that a represented in our software do not match the PANTONE books, bridges, website, or the Color Manager that we have installed. The values for the 485C PANTONE in Illustrator show as 4, 98, 100, 1. The values on the website and in the color books show as 0, 95, 100, 0. The RGB and hex values are also different in Illustrator CC (RGB 226, 35, 26) (HEX #e2231a), but the books, bridge, website and color manager are uniform with these as well (RGB 218,41,28) (HEX #da291c). It looks as though Illustrator is the issue, but I'm not sure why this is happening or if it can be fixed. Any suggestions are welcome!

Views

7.6K

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines

correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Sep 19, 2017 Sep 19, 2017

The Pantone+ Solid coated library in Illustrator does not contain CMYK values anymore.

It gives Lab values and it uses your color settings to simulate the color for you printing process.

That means that you will get different CMYK values when you choose newsprint or Japanese inks.

Pantone Plus color libraries

Likes

Translate

Translate
Mentor ,
Sep 19, 2017 Sep 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I would create your own CMYK swatches and use the official Pantone equivalents.  I suspect your color settings and LAB values are affecting the CMYK conversions.  In the past, if you were to load a Pantone into your color swatches in Illustrator, then converted the spot color to CMYK ( a simple click on the CMYK icon ), the CMYK percentages would match the offiicial Pantone Solid-to-Process Guide.  Not sure what happened where now it does not work.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Expert ,
Sep 19, 2017 Sep 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

PANTONE has changed the CMYK values several times over the years as technology improved. The reason was that they could now create CMYK blends that more closely matched the ink colors. Rather than just adjust the existing solid color libraries to have the newer breakdowns somebody decided that they would leave the breakdowns for the solid colors as they were ten years ago and confuse the heck out of everybody. I've found that the best way to cope with this is to use the color bridge library (generally I use the coated one) when picking any spot colors. That way I can once again toggle back and forth from process to spot like I did in the thrilling days of yesteryear. Illustrator actually allows this easily as the toggle is readily available. InDesign makes it a little more difficult since the toggle is grayed out after you choose a color from the color bridge. However, if you then switch the color mode to CMYK then the toggle becomes active. I'm sure that there are some color purists out there who will say that all of this is blasphemy but I can honestly say that in my job in the production studio of a very large New York agency that our studio has never had a problem using this method.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Apr 07, 2021 Apr 07, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

This is not the case for me. The values that the Pantone site provides for a PMS C color's equivalent RGB/HEX and CMYK do not match what the C Book in Illustrators converts them to. Such a pain in the tushy.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Expert ,
Apr 07, 2021 Apr 07, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

See the answer given by Ton.

 

You have to use a CMYK based color library.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Apr 07, 2021 Apr 07, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

The values for RGB are not correct either.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Expert ,
Apr 07, 2021 Apr 07, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

For which RGB?

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

All of them. If I select a PMS C color from the book in Illustrator and from there change that swatch to any other color type, the values do not match what https://www.pantone.com/color-finder says they should be. 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Expert ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

You are misunderstanding how Pantone swatches work.

The solid swatches are based on spot inks that get pouted into the printing machine. They are defined in Lab color space.

The CMYK values that Pantone provides are specifically made up in a way that they match that color when printed using the US Web process. They are also optimized that they don't contain 1 or 2 percent values and what not.

 

When you use Illustrator or any other software to convert the Lab spot colors into process then this happens based on your color management settings. The resulting numbers will never match Pantone's made up CMYK numbers. In order to get precisely these numbers, don't use solid swatches at all.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

No, I quite understand. Pantone suggests value for CMYK, and RGB that best match their PMS swatches. Therefore, when converting a swatch a SPOT to CMYK or RGB in Illustrator or other software that used PMS books, the conversions SHOULD match the recommended values, BUT they don't. This makes for a lot of extra work for us designers that works equally in print and digital mediums. 

 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

*excuse typos

 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

At this stage in the game there should be settings for us to select from to choose to match PMS suggested values or system values. 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Expert ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

quote

Therefore, when converting a swatch a SPOT to CMYK or RGB in Illustrator or other software that used PMS books, the conversions SHOULD match the recommended values, BUT they don't.

 

By @ktdid.

 

No, they should not.

 

What should match is the printed result. But that won't work if all the world prints using the same CMYK numbers on all the world's printing presses and all the world's papers.

 

Therefore you need to set up your color management in the way that it produces reliable output for the situation you're in. And then let color management convert the spot colors so the printed page matches the spot ink.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I disagree. There should be a standard starting point that then designers edit per their needs. Cleary Pantone must agree as they supply suggested values for all PMS swatches.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Expert ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

OK.

I guess nobody will be able to help you with that.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Expert ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

My question was which RGB color space, sRGB, Adobe RGB, Monitor RGB? they will all give different RGB numbers for the same Pantone color.

Note that the Pantone website that you linked to warns: "Please note that RGB & Hex/HTML values will differ between the PANTONE Color Finder and the PANTONE Color Bridge Guides due to different standards for print and digital use."

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Expert ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

What Monika said and consider that many Pantone colors are chosen to produce a printing color that cannot be produced with CMYK process colors (out of gamut). 

You cannot expect an accurate reproduction from a solid color that cannot be reproduced with CMYK inks, it will always be an approximation and the CMYK numbers will always be  different depending on the color management method for handling colors that are out of gamut, the inks, the printing press, the paper and the taste of the user (which incorrect color do you like the best?). 

Pantone may give fixed numbers, but color management will give better results under all those variable circumstances.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I understand. All I'm saying, and this is a want from many designers who work both in print and web, is that it would simply be very helpful for there to be a consistent starting point…one standard set of converted values for all color types from PMS C (let's say) to CMYK, to RGB across all platforms. 

When creating a brand we don't get the luxury of testing color values in all of the mediums to find the best values for our desires and uses. We have to start somewhere. We have to provide color palettes with value breakdowns in Brand Guides. We have to set colors for logo suites for all files types and color types. We have to build websites with HEX values. 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Expert ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Use the Pantone CMYK color libraries. That's what they are there for.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

You didn't read any of the above that outlines the fact that color libraries in Adobe products don't produce the same values as Pantone provides on its website. READ before commenting.

 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Expert ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

quote

You didn't read any of the above that outlines the fact that color libraries in Adobe products don't produce the same values as Pantone provides on its website. READ before commenting.

 


By @ktdid.

 

The color libraries in Adobe products are provided by Pantone. Adobe just licenses and includes them in the package.  As Ton has already quoted, Pantone explains why there is a difference between several values. It's stated on their website (I'm including it here for your convenience). Maybe you READ that before complaining:

Bildschirmfoto 2021-04-08 um 22.39.40.png

 

You're basically barking at the wrong tree. The only thing "Adobe" does here is the conversion of Lab color definitions via color management. And it has been working that way for roughly 20 years now and every user of design software should actually be accustomed to it.

 

So if the CMYK color libraries don't resemble the values stated on the Pantone website, you should ask Pantone why that is the case, because those values don't get converted by color management.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Expert ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied


@ktdid. wrote:

It would simply be very helpful for there to be a consistent starting point…one standard set of converted values for all color types from PMS C (let's say) to CMYK, to RGB across all platforms. 
When creating a brand we don't get the luxury of testing color values in all of the mediums to find the best values for our desires and uses. 


That's what color management provides, a consistent starting point; the Lab values of the color and the most accurate reproduction of that color in all of these mediums.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Guide ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

"it would simply be very helpful for there to be a consistent starting point"

There is, it's called color management.

Asking RGB and CMYK to be the same is like asking all fruit to have hard seeds and a soft skin. Bad for bananas.

RGB refers to the primary colors of light, CMYK refers to the primary colors of pigment: they intrinsically cannot be the same, only approximations of each other.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Not one person here is understanding what my point is. And, I know it's not that hard to understand as it's a conversation I have with other designers who are on the same page. I know all about additive and subtractive colors, print inks vs. digital color. If you choose to not read what I'm saying and just post for the hell of being condescending, bug off.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Guide ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

That's real nice.

Funny how "not one person" is understanding you, but you are still right and everyone else (who is trying to help you, you're welcome) is wrong.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines