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CS6 PMS Book Colors only as LAB

May 13, 2012 6:41 AM

Tags: #pantone #lab #bookcolor

HI:

 

I can't get Illustrator to create a swatch with Pantone Book CMYK values: only LAB. All my Color Books arte displaying LAB icons.

 

If I spec the spot color as CMYK, I get the CMYK equivalent of this LAB value, based on my Color Settings. For example: Pantone 485C with a book value of C0 M100 Y95 K0 dispalays as C10 M96 Y100 K2

 

I'm working in CMYK color space.

 

I've set "Use CMYK values from Manufacturer's Books" in spot colors dialogue in swatch panel.

 

Thanks,

Cam

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 13, 2012 7:14 AM   in reply to Cam Reesor

    The standard color books in Illustrator CS6 (which are the Pantone + books) only contain LAB values. You'll have to replace them with older color books to get the expected behaviour.

     
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    May 13, 2012 7:47 AM   in reply to Cam Reesor

    Did you first drag the Pantone + libraries out of the swatches libraries folder? You cannot run both.

     

    Please do also read this kb-document

    http://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/kb/pantone-plus.html

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 14, 2012 8:30 AM   in reply to Cam Reesor

    Thanks guys, needed this!

     

    I didn't remove any of the Pantone+ libraries, just added the old ones and it works perfect.

     

    Even on my calibrated screen the LAB-colors look dull.

     

    And worse: my clients started to wonder why I started to use different colors for their jobs...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 14, 2012 10:41 AM   in reply to Studio57NL

    Studio57NL wrote:

    ... I didn't remove any of the Pantone+ libraries, just added the old ones and it works perfect...

    Here it works only with one library at a time and this is what Adobe is saying too, so you must be very special

    ... Even on my calibrated screen the LAB-colors look dull...

    The purpose of on screen display is  not to achieve pretty colors but to match the color appearance of the Pantone colors on the sample books printed with the Pantone formula inks. I have a calibrated monitor too and the Lab values match closely the colors in the book. The provided CMYK values in the old library, first are limited to the much narrower CMYK color gamut which leave most of the Pantone colors out even if your monitor can display them and second the provided Lab values when converted to US Web Coated (SWOP) v2 give better match than the provided CMYK values in the old libraries which no one knows what color space (output) they represent.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 15, 2012 12:08 AM   in reply to emil emil

    Here it works only with one library at a time and this is what Adobe is saying too, so you must be very special

     

    You're right. It doesn't work at all... I can choose between CMYK or LAB previews.

     

    The problem is that although I am using the same Pantone numbers everything looks different, colors look dull and desaturated.

     

    My clients are wondering why I started to use different colors for their jobs. So I need to keep the old Pantone system around.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 15, 2012 5:30 AM   in reply to Studio57NL

    There will be a transition period that needs managing this problem. What I recomend is install the old libraries as instructed by Adobe and make your own CMYK spot colors with the same CMYK values used for all Pantone colors you have used in your previous jobs. Then reinstall the new libraries again. Whenever you need to work on files with Pantone colors created with old libraries, replace the Pantone colors with the corresponding spot colors you made yourself and the colors will match. For creating new colors use the new libraries.

    If you keep choosing new colors from the old libraries your clients who own Adobe software and the rest of the world will eventually start using only the new libraries and this will only prolong the problem.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 15, 2012 7:35 AM   in reply to Cam Reesor

    Cam Reesor wrote:

     

    ...

    Is this something that's going to be fixed?

    No, there is nothing to be fixed. The problem is caused by incomparability between the old and new libraries. You have to understand how Pantone created the numbers for the CMYK and Lab methods and work around the issue. I made several attempts to explain this in several threads but with my poor English I may not be very skilled at that. Anyway, you can check my recent input on this in this thread http://forums.adobe.com/message/4514815#4514815

    If you don't feel like general understanding of this is helpful, I can try to help if you describe a very specific situation. For now I recommend when creating new Pantone colors to use the new libraries. The problem is only with using old files and dealing with this depends on the specifics of the job.

     

     

    Cam Reesor wrote:

     

    ...

    (In Photoshop, I'd love to see the integration of a similar workable "Use CMYK values from Manufacturer's Books" option. I constantly have to refer to the old Manufacturer's Books to get the appropriate CMYK values and adjust swatches to match or else I'm getting my Color Setting's idea of what that color should be.)

    Photoshop never used meaningless CMYK values, it always had only Lab values for the Pantone colors. I'm repeating this as broken record on many threads already but CMYK values mean nothing without specifying its output (color space). This is when the value becomes a color.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 16, 2012 10:10 PM   in reply to emil emil

    If I take a file created in CS 5.5, copy everything, and then paste it into a new CS 6 document, it looks completely different. This is a serious issue.

     

    Here's an example of what I'm seeing. The file on the right was created in CS 5.5 and opened in CS 6. No problems. I created a new CS 6 document and pasted in all the content with NO changes. It looks nothing like what we're hoping to create.

     

    AI-color-profile-madness.png

     

    Is it safe to assume that in actual printed production, PMS 173 is the same as Pantone+ 173, even though they look completely different on screen? If I view the original files, it's a nice bright orange. On the CS 6 version, it's nearly red and much darker. In addition, all the black areas are now gray.

     

    What makes me suspicious is that if I convert the PMS color to CMYK, I actually get a different build.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 17, 2012 1:44 AM   in reply to manwith2shoes

    The sample on the left is pretty close to the printed color. You should get an actual printed pantone color guide if you want to safely print them. Relying on how software presents the color on screen is like driving with your eyes shut.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 17, 2012 1:54 AM   in reply to manwith2shoes

    Same here.

     

    On the right is the same document but converted to Pantone+ colors. It does not even come close as to how the colors are being printed and SHOULD look – like the colors on the left. Finding the CMYK equivalents is also a real pain. Looking up colors in the Pantone+ books is also a pain in the ***. So how is this new system actually to my advantage?

     

    Screen Shot 2012-08-17 at 10.47.33.png

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 17, 2012 9:32 AM   in reply to manwith2shoes

    manwith2shoes wrote:

    ... Here's an example of what I'm seeing. ...

    From the attached untagged (without a color profile) image no one can tell what you are seeing on your monitor. The only thing that others can see is that you may be seeing different colors but not what colors. Just think about it - if you use the hardware controls of your monitor to change its RGB signals you can change completely how colors are displayed and even you can turn your monitor off and you will see nothing but with your computer still running the software has no clue that you have messed up your monitor display or turned it off  and if you press the screen capture button it will make an image "displayed" on your screen that others will see on their monitors in a completely different way.

    In order for an image to be displayed the same on two different monitors from different computers, both monitors have to be calibrated to the same color temperature, profiled with a color measuring device, and the receiving monitor has to have the same or wider gamut. The image has to contain a color profile describing the meaning of the color values  and the display of both monitors must be handled by a color managed software in the same manner (the image you posted here is viewed in various web browsers some of which may be color managed but still with different way of handling untagged images)

     

    manwith2shoes wrote:

     

    ... I created a new CS 6 document and pasted in all the content with NO changes. It looks nothing like what we're hoping to create...

    In the document or in the Illustrator version where the color looks right, double click the pantone swatch in the Swatches panel. In the Swatch Options dialog that opens, from the Color Mode menu, choose CMYK. Write down the CMYK values. Go to the problem document and do the same but enter the CMYK values you took from the "correctly" displayed document.

     

    manwith2shoes wrote:


    Is it safe to assume that in actual printed production, PMS 173 is the same as Pantone+ 173, even though they look completely different on screen?

    Yes, it is safe as long as the name of the color in your document is PMS 173. The offset press operator doesn't use a monitor displaying your file and has no clue what you are seeing on your monitor. The operator will see only the name of the Pantone color from your file and will pick the can with that ink for printing this spot color. So, if you double click the swatch of your Pantone color and choose any color mode even HSB or Web Safe Colors that no printer can use, and change the color values to make a completely different color, as long as the name of the Pantone color stays the same, the printer will always print the same color as shown in the Pantone Formula printed books. On the other hand if you change the display colors to match perfectly the colors in the books on your screen but change the name, say "My favorite red" and send this file to the printer, your phone will soon ring and the print shop will tell you that they checked all shelves with ink cans and can't find such ink with a label "My favorite red"

     

     

    manwith2shoes wrote:

    ... What makes me suspicious is that if I convert the PMS color to CMYK, I actually get a different build...

    That build in the older libraries using the CMYK method was decided by Pantone trying to guess how you monitor will display color values and how process colors on various printers and media can eventually print something similar to the spot colors in the Pantone books. If you don't rely on color management, for display on your monitor just open the Swatch Options dialog as I described earlier, choose what ever color mode you like and values that can match as close as possible the color in the printed Pantone books on your screen.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 17, 2012 1:33 PM   in reply to emil emil

    emil emil wrote:

    From the attached untagged (without a color profile) image no one can tell what you are seeing on your monitor... 

     

     

    I understand all of this. I'm well aware that color displays differently on different monitors unless you take steps to calibrate color. I know that the color on my monitor isn't accurate compared to PMS books and printed samples. Those things have been true since the beginning of designing with a computer.

     

    The problems are:

     

    1. The same artwork displays differently on the same monitor depending which version of Illustrator is used, and the new version is vastly inferior to the old version. I don't care what monitor you're using: the area that is specified as PMS Black 6 looks like black in the CS 5.5 version and looks like a 70% gray in the CS 6 version. THAT'S NOT AN IMPROVEMENT.

     

    2. The CMYK builds from PMS colors are now different. In the past, if I sent our brand guidelines to vendors and told them our orange was PMS 173, I could be reasonable certain that their CMYK build would be consistent with other vendors. Now we'll need to explain it: "our orange is PMS 173, and our CMYK build is 0/69/100/4. Please use this CMYK build for consistency. You may notice that Illustrator will convert PMS 173 to 11.64/86.93/100/2.15, which is due to an update in the Adobe software. We prefer that you use the original CMYK build for all materials for consistency with our previous materials, and ignore what Adobe Illustrator tells you about what these values should be."

     

    The builds are SIGNIFICANTLY different -- it's not a refinement. These two CMYK builds will look different when printed.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 17, 2012 3:36 PM   in reply to manwith2shoes

    manwith2shoes wrote:

    ...

    1. The same artwork displays differently on the same monitor depending which version of Illustrator is used, ...

    This statement is not technically correct. It is not depending on which Illustrator version is used but on what Pantone library is installed. I don't have CS6 I'm still with CS5 but I have installed and use the new Pantone Plus libraries. In CS6 you can also remove the new library and install the old one and all will be the same on your computer. If you deal with others they have to do the same if you want consistency with a certain group of users.

     

    ...and the new version is vastly inferior to the old version. I don't care what monitor you're using: the area that is specified as PMS Black 6 looks like black in the CS 5.5 version and looks like a 70% gray in the CS 6 version. THAT'S NOT AN IMPROVEMENT...

    That's valid only on your monitor. On mine the display of the Pantone colors is fine and PMS Black 6 looks like real black nothing like 70% gray.

     

    ... The CMYK builds from PMS colors are now different...

    Again, technically this is not stated correctly although in practical terms you have a point. The two different builds have always been in Illustrator - if you choose Spot Colors... from the menu of the Swatches panel you will see the two different options CMYK and Lab. The problem is that the CMYK build and not the the Lab build was default and most people didn't bother or knew there is another option. If the Lab build was the default there would have been no problems now. With the new Libraries Pantone removed the CMYK build and keeps only the Lab build which is now default regardless what is chosen in the Spot Colors Options.

     

    ... In the past, if I sent our brand guidelines to vendors and told them our orange was PMS 173, I could be reasonable certain that their CMYK build would be consistent with other vendors. Now we'll need to explain it: "our orange is PMS 173, and our CMYK build is 0/69/100/4. Please use this CMYK build for consistency. You may notice that Illustrator will convert PMS 173 to 11.64/86.93/100/2.15, which is due to an update in the Adobe software. We prefer that you use the original CMYK build for all materials for consistency with our previous materials, and ignore what Adobe Illustrator tells you about what these values should be."...

    I guess you were lucky because as I said the two different builds options were available with the previous version and any user could choose a different option. On top of that any user can double click a pantone swatch and change its build with any color model for different reasons, for example to match the color on screen with the pantone book. So, if you want to be fully certain that other users will use the same CMYK build as you,  you should have always specified these details and you don't have to add these ridiculous reasons if you want to sound professional. The simple reason is that any user can change the build as they like and this is the  reason Pantone removed the CMYK build. It was just one party's opinion about matching CMYK values that were not intended to be used the way you did.

    You are a victim of an improvement that interferes with your workflow that was not based on understanding how things work. I'm not saying this because I'm not sympathetic to your situation but to explain that this is a kind of problem that Adobe will not address and the change will have to come from you.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 17, 2012 6:16 PM   in reply to emil emil

    emil emil wrote:

     

    That's valid only on your monitor. On mine the display of the Pantone colors is fine and PMS Black 6 looks like real black nothing like 70% gray.

     

     

    Hmmm. This makes me think there is a display setting in Illustrator that needs to be adjusted. After all, black displays as black using the older color library. Is there something in Illustrator that can be adjusted to make the display match the library? I don't think my monitor itself is at fault.

     

    emil emil wrote:

     

    I guess you were lucky because as I said the two different builds options were available with the previous version and any user could choose a different option. On top of that any user can double click a pantone swatch and change its build with any color model for different reasons, for example to match the color on screen with the pantone book. So, if you want to be fully certain that other users will use the same CMYK build as you,  you should have always specified these details and you don't have to add these ridiculous reasons if you want to sound professional.

     

    That's a valid point, and color profiles have been specified in the files we send out. But it's not something we had to think about much in the past when we talked with vendors because everyone's results were consistent.

     

    I don't really care about "sounding professional," I just want my results to look professional. That's my job. This is a new "gotcha" that is going to cause problems for many people.

     

    emil emil wrote:

     

    It was just one party's opinion about matching CMYK values that were not intended to be used the way you did.

     

    Adobe makes a feature default. No warning that the default method is technically incorrect. Everyone I know uses it. It worked just fine. No complaints. We're all wrong.

     

    Even Q-Tips tells you not to stick their cotton swabs in your ears. You do it anyway, but you know you shouldn't.

     

    emil emil wrote:

     

    You are a victim of an improvement that interferes with your workflow that was not based on understanding how things work. I'm not saying this because I'm not sympathetic to your situation but to explain that this is a kind of problem that Adobe will not address and the change will have to come from you.

     

    I see your point, we're going to need to be vigilant to make certain we get consistent results. Improvements that create problems may not be perceived by customers as improvements. With this upgrade, Adobe just made my job just a little more difficult, and it was a surprise to boot. And it cost us several hundred bucks. That's not what I'd call a "win-win."

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 18, 2012 9:40 AM   in reply to manwith2shoes

    manwith2shoes wrote:

     

    emil emil wrote:

     

    That's valid only on your monitor. On mine the display of the Pantone colors is fine and PMS Black 6 looks like real black nothing like 70% gray.

     

     

    Hmmm. This makes me think there is a display setting in Illustrator that needs to be adjusted. After all, black displays as black using the older color library. Is there something in Illustrator that can be adjusted to make the display match the library? I don't think my monitor itself is at fault.

    ...

    I don't know why you are getting gray, if it is the monitor as you said it would affect everything else. Not sure if this will help by try resetting the preferences and after restarting Illustrator create the first document in RGB mode.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 21, 2013 12:15 PM   in reply to emil emil

    I know this is an old post, but we just upgraded our Macs & added CS6 & I am looking for answers to the color issue, and finding none. If you revert back to Pantone legacy, it presents nasty issues with spot colors in Photoshop. I went through this in CS5. "Look, Pantone+, let's install that. It's gotta B better!!" Big mistake. Can't even OPEN ai files with placed PS spot files in the wrong swatch format. The idea to use lab values to get the most consistent color is fine, I get that, however, the fact that Pantone legacy & Pantone+ colors convert to completly different colors is simply not acceptable. If I convert 280C to CMYK, which we need to frequently on our digital presses, the CMYK values from Pantone legacy & Pantone+ should be virtually identical. Pantone legacy converts 280C to 100/72/0/18, but Pantone+ converts it to 100/93.7/27.67/23.15. Huh???????????? Not even close! If it was off a % point or 2 is one thing....

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2013 12:38 PM   in reply to emil emil

    So it appears that LaB spots are converted to CMYK using an RGB model, hence the undesired decimal color values and extra values (meaning when a CMYK value is supposed to be either a whole number or zero for prining purposes).  Is that correct? 

     

    Obviously we printers will have no use for a color translation that includes values when there are supposed to be none until our printers start printing using LaB inks (our printers use sarcasm as one of the spot color replacements).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 26, 2013 5:04 PM   in reply to anotherheadx

    If you want process colors use the Pantone + Color Bridge Coated/Uncoated books.

     

    If you want spot colors  use the Pantone + Solid Coated/Uncoated books.

     

    If you want an accrate screen reperseation of the Pantone + Solid color enable Overprint Preview.

     

    What is the point in trying to convert LAB spots to CMYK? Just use the proper books.

     
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