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Does Ink Manager use official Pantone recommended values?

Explorer ,
Apr 18, 2017 Apr 18, 2017

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I was wondering if anyone knows if you use the Ink Manager to convert Pantone Spot Colors to CMYK in InDesign is the outcome an official Pantone recommended value?

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Apr 18, 2017 Apr 18, 2017

Not if you are using the current Pantone + Solid ink libraries. The ink Manager conversion is a color managed conversion from the Pantone Lab values into your document's CMYK space.

Pantone now provides device dependent process CMYK simulations via the Pantone + Bridge libraries

If you are using tints of a solid ink spot color see this thread:

Re: Ink Manager Bug/Problem?

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Community Expert ,
Apr 18, 2017 Apr 18, 2017

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Not if you are using the current Pantone + Solid ink libraries. The ink Manager conversion is a color managed conversion from the Pantone Lab values into your document's CMYK space.

Pantone now provides device dependent process CMYK simulations via the Pantone + Bridge libraries

If you are using tints of a solid ink spot color see this thread:

Re: Ink Manager Bug/Problem?

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Explorer ,
Apr 18, 2017 Apr 18, 2017

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Thanks for the response! What exactly do you mean by "color managed"?

So if I know my pantone color that I want to find out the recommend CMYK value for--can I use the website below? Surely the CMYK value on the website is the same as what would be in the physical printed formula guide? The issue I see with Pantone's recommend CMYK value is that it looks pretty far off from the Pantone Color. At least to me, looking at it on screen(which I know isn't a very reliable representation), the Ink Manager does a better job of matching the pantone color. My Pantone color is 802 C. Pantone recommends 51 0 85 0 and Ink Manager uses 67 0 100 0.

I assume Illustrator does the same thing--in terms of "color managing" the conversion? If I open the 802c swatch, it gives me a CMYK breakdwon of 67 0 100 0 as well.

PANTONE 802 C - find a PANTONE Color

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Community Expert ,
Apr 18, 2017 Apr 18, 2017

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What exactly do you mean by "color managed"?

InDesign uses its color management system to make the conversion from Pantone's Lab values—the CMYK value you will get depends on the document's CMYK profile and to a lesser extent the Color Settings' Conversion Options. Pantone no longer provides CMYK values for the solid color libraries, they now provide separate libraries for CMYK simulations of their solid inks—Pantone + Bridge.

Pantone's definition for 802c is Lab 75|-63|63. The CMYK conversion numbers will change if you change the document's assigned profile (Edit>Assign Profiles...). So the default US SWOP Coated converts 802 to 67|0|100|0, but US Sheetfed Coated converts to 58|0|100|0.

802c is in the Pantone + Pastels & Neons Coated library and most neon colors are very much out side of the printable CMYK gamut, so no CMYK values will reproduce your color. There is not a Bridge library for the neon colors probably for that reason.

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Explorer ,
Apr 18, 2017 Apr 18, 2017

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So is it completely by chance that the InDesign converts the color, using the US Sheetfed Coated profile, to the same CMYK breakdown that Pantone recommends? I find that odd.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 18, 2017 Apr 18, 2017

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to the same CMYK breakdown that Pantone recommends? I find that odd.

The values listed on the page you linked to are 58|0|85|0 not 58|0|100|0.

InDesign’s Color Settings’ Conversion Options Intent setting would also have an effect. Setting the Intent to Perceptual along with US Sheetfed gives me 59|0|97|0. I don’t think Pantone publishes how they come up with their conversions, but there isn't a single set of CMYK values that would work under all printing conditions and that's one of the reasons as of CS6 the Pantone Solid Spot color values are now defined as Lab.

If you want to bypass the InDesign color conversion use the Bridge Libraries. Those swatches should match the numbers listed on Pantone’s site. For example here’s 7490CP:

pantone.png

Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 4.29.07 PM.png

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Explorer ,
Apr 18, 2017 Apr 18, 2017

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Thanks for the responses Rob, you've been very helpful! I really appreciate it. You said earlier that some colors, like 802c, do not have a CMYK match. Is the Bridge Library Pantone's attempt at providing a group of colors that have a relatively close CMYK match to the Pantone Color?

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Community Expert ,
Apr 18, 2017 Apr 18, 2017

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Is the Bridge Library Pantone's attempt at providing a group of colors that have a relatively close CMYK match to the Pantone Color?

Yes they are defined as process CMYK values not spot colors. How closely the single CMYK definitions match Pantone's solid ink swatch books (they are not printed with CMYK inks) would depend on the printing conditions. With a neon color like 802 you won't get close with either a color managed conversion or using Pantone's suggested values.

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New Here ,
May 09, 2024 May 09, 2024

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Adamh88 what did you ever find that worked for you. I am in the same boat with the same colour. Now that adobe and pantone have broke up this is really important to understand

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Community Expert ,
May 09, 2024 May 09, 2024

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Hi @Sarah111913 , InDesign’s Ink Manager does not use the Pantone + Color Bridge process CMYK values.

 

For the Solid Ink Spot Colors at 100%, Ink Manager converts the Pantone Lab values into the document’s assigned CMYK color space via color management—the resulting values depend on the document’s CMYK profile and the CM Intent setting.

 

It’s worth noting that there has been a bug with Ink Manger and tints of Pantone Solid colors—tints are not correctly color managed. I haven’t checked the latest version to see if that is still the case, but the better alternative is to simply change the Swatch from Spot to Process and not use Ink Manager for process conversions.

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