24 Replies Latest reply on Sep 20, 2014 5:24 PM by jdanek

    What colorguide

    perrybrus Level 1

      Hi,

       

      After many years of designing for screen media only I'm now about to produce a complete corporate design guideline, in other words I need to reference my colors in pms and cmyk as well. When reading about this topic I get really confused cause there are SO many colorguides from Pantone to choose from! All I want is to compare cmyk with pms and be able to know how they look on print. I understand theres many paper types and physical surfaces out there, but I think I'm fine with coated and non coated paper as reference. Do anyone have a product suggestion and perhaps a descriptive link to go? What kind of fan should I get and what is mandatory to have in my toolbox?

        • 1. Re: What colorguide
          jdanek Level 4

          Pantone has made understanding their libraries very difficult.  Years ago I purchased their "Survival Guide" set that included their "Solid to Process" color guide on "Coated" paper.  At that time, they included other reference guides, including "Process Uncoated SWOP" which indicates colors using a number system something like this... DS-182-3 U ( 65C, 70M, 0Y, 20K ).  I don't recommend setting up a style guide using those numbers because they are too confusing.  If you have a color in your guide that is based on the PMS ( Pantone Matching System ) system, the "Solid to Process" guide book will suffice. Now, if you refer to the "Process Coated SWOP", you may be able to get a closer match to a specific PMS color.  In that case, you could replace the CMYK percentages with the closer version.  But, the Pantone released their "Bridge" reference libraries soon after I purchased the Survival Guide.  And, soon after that, they released their Plus Series libraries.  So, to answer your question, their Plus Series is probably the appropriate reference guide.  I find the investment well worth it, especially when setting up a branding guide and you need accuracy.  That all said, if you need one reference guide, get Pantone's "Solid to Process" reference or its modern day equivalent.

          • 2. Re: What colorguide
            perrybrus Level 1

            Hi,

             

            Thanks for the reply jdanek but it left me even more confused I'm afraid, cause you are referring to and recommending different products. The amount of different color guides Pantone have in circulation makes things so difficult. Perhaps their colorspace or system is beginning to become almost too much for anyone.

             

            First of all, why does every visual corporate guide I've looked at start with the PMS, then CMYK, then RGB and last the web hexcodes? When looking at Pantone guides it also goes in that direction, so is that the common strategy? Cause its just a copy of whats referred to in the color guide? What if 75% of all communication goes trough screen media, shouldn't a corporate guide then start with the RGB / hex values as base and first priority and THEN move onto the print values (CMYK) followed by the colors for other physical media, pens, poups, give-aways etc like PMS? Isn't that what the PMS codes are for? If the main case is web and smallscreens shouldnt then the PMS and CMYK values be just a dithered version of those first values? If screen colors are most important, shouldn't I just mimic the print values on the base of the RGB and hex? In other words concentrate on the screen color codes and then manually try to find something in the CMYK/PMS landscape that looks the closest to those first colors?

             

            When I emailed a local graphics store they said I needed the Color Bridge Coated and Uncoated Plus series. It's called CU Plus, see attachment. What makes that even more confusing is that its sRGB values and not RGB, that's complete different colorspace to the RGB - they didn't even know themselves the reason for this. I emailed Pantone customer service in Europe and no reply as of yet. On the product itself (not seen here) it says its the sRGB values. Also, when you look at the orange sample, they have two different hues but with no CMYK reference on the first one. And PMS and CMYK values only on the other to the right. Why? Am I missing out on some crucial stuff here?

             

             

            pan-colorbridge-CU-Plus.gifpnt-colorbridge-CU-Plus.gif

            • 3. Re: What colorguide
              jdanek Level 4

              I understand what you are saying.  However, corporate color branding starts with ( and it doesn't have to be Pantone, it could be Toyo or some other ink manufacturer ) Spot Color(s) used in the original logo which is then implemented in all corporate communications that include print, video, and new media.  Because there tends to be inherent shifts in RGB values depending on user's color settings and monitor calibration or the lack thereof, it's near impossible to establish a consistent color based on RGB or Hex values.  My books are dated, but I wanted to give you some crossover info and history on how you could work with current books.  The reference to Bridge Plus Series sounds right. 

              • 4. Re: What colorguide
                perrybrus Level 1

                Thanks for the pointers jdanek, I appreciate it.

                 

                Yes, RGB values are really not consistent. RGB, Adobe RGB, sRGB, Monitor RGB. They're all uniquely displayed between recipients. Coming from a web designer environment I've been battling that monster for a long time. But as far as I can understand the same issues occur between printers, even if I have the printer calibration file (ICC profile) it doesn't secure a guaranteed outcome in terms of coloring. That goes for digitally printed RGB files like photographs too. I just recently experience some of the company's corporate colors on objects like a popup screen and a Frisbee, it didn't look much like what I saw on that Pantone color guide, although the manufacturer used the PMS values as far as I know.

                 

                I'm still struggling to understand what you wrote about corporate logo's being the base of visual guidelines, cause many times they only come in black and white, not colors. But did you just mean to point out that other color spaces are common as well? Like Toyo for instance. But not that common one would presume? I thought a spot color could be PMS as well? And isn't using spot colors in something so common as the company logo kinda non practical in terms of print expenses?

                • 5. Re: What colorguide
                  jdanek Level 4

                  No.  In the case of consistency, Spot colors are very efficient in that they should not shift.  CMYK colors, which are made up of percentages, can drift on press.  That's where you get deviates.  TOYO is just another Spot color manufacturer, just like Pantone.  Don't forget PMS = Pantone Matching System.  I've never worked on a branding guide with the corporate logo only in Black ( and White ).  Of course, you can and will deal with the logo as a Black and White version, but also Grayscale, as well as full color.

                  • 6. Re: What colorguide
                    perrybrus Level 1

                    Most logos do come in positive and negative, that's my perception at least. Most companies have to comply with universal laws as well, like cases where I'm not allowed to place colored logotypes on sponsorship boards and shared surfaces like that. When they do not have a black/white logo version they always end up saying "go ahead, feel free to make a suitable neutral version". You have an interesting commenct in terms of TOYO, personally I've never dealt with things like that but the idea of using other color systems is interesting. This whole color system concept is really vast.

                     

                    If a major part of the communication is on screen (web, tv etc) then wouldn't you start the color section in the corporate guide by defining the RGB space and hexcodes followed by a manually picked / adjusted PMS/CMYK versions of these values? Isn't that like prioritizing the correct way? Or is it best practice to do the opposite independent of media exposure?

                    • 7. Re: What colorguide
                      jdanek Level 4

                      Branding Guides typically start with the print color and evolve into web / video RGB numbers.  There are no set rules, but I would venture at it with caution.  Leading color specifications with RGB values will confuse people.  A good branding guide will have specific sections that deal with each scenario.  For instance, you might have a company uniform section that show a template of the uniform and specifies silk screen plastisol inks.  Another section would be exterior / vehicle signage where specific paints could be indicated.  And, another section that deals with print related materials and their associated colors ( Spot and CMYK.  Last, you'd discuss web / multimedia using web RGB and or hex numbers.  Starting with the print materials establishes the official color conventions early on.

                      • 8. Re: What colorguide
                        perrybrus Level 1

                        I see. I won't break the tradition by starting with the RGB reference although major part of all communication is on screen. If best practice is what you say it seems to be the most reasonable approach. The guides I've seen so far also confirms this. It's often hard to break best practices although it could be more logical to follow an opposite rule at times, especially in companies where the print media is totally dead as a communication channel. Some firms won't even allow their market dep. to use money on print. But you have a good point in terms of physical objects and branding of vehicles etc. I have just ordered the Pantone color-guide I shared with you in my second post, it's arriving in a couple of days. I feel exited about it cause after doing web design for ages I get to handle something tactile, I hope my eye sight is up to the task so that I'm able to separate the hues and colors on paper. It's the coated/uncoated version.

                         

                        However, I have yet to get an answer to why that guide is defining the PMS, CMYK, RGB and HTML values on one color and exclude the latter codes on the hue that's on the right - the CMYK simulation. Beats me, cause on that very right orange hue they have included the PMS value. I've emailed Pantone about this, but they seem to be unable to come up with a sensible reply. I also asked what type of RGB space they are referring to in this guide, they responded that they are using the sRGB color space cause they feel that its the best bridge when aiming to compare print with web and not print with screens in general. A complete guide could have included Adobe RGB and monitor RGB as well, but the RGB colors won't be accurate cross platforms anyhow. And there's more RGB color spaces than this too.

                         

                        Ps: Had a chat with a print company today that prints in both in CMYK and RGB, they said they were fine with me sending them PDF's with print design thats set in RGB. So perhaps this CMYK vs RGB thing will become less important as they develop the equipment? He did add that although its close in quality with their new machines, the CMYK and PMS colors come out a tad better if quality is paramount in high-end publications.

                        • 9. Re: What colorguide
                          jdanek Level 4

                          Interesting that Pantone would say they base their RGB values on the sRGB color space.  sRGB is a video and camera reference, which happens to relate to the internet based sRGB.  I have a theory.  It goes something like this.  Because sRGB is "Transnitted" color ( similar to viewing a color transparency on a light box ), color will appear dynamic because it is essentially backlit.  So, the dynamic range will appear close to a 4.0 even if it isn't.  sRGB is a limited color space and the gamut is actually clipped.  The illusion is the gamut appears wide because of the light transmitted through the media ( like a monitor ).  sRGB was selected as the basic web color space because the internet had limitations with displaying over 256 colors.  I also wonder why a print company would base their RGB on sRGB which is not, when originally developed, was based on television and video taping.  Get your hands on Adobe's Print Publishing Guide which discusses many issues surrounding print and file preparation.  There are some print vendors who use digital presses and large format inkjet printers which do a good job printing RGB files.  I have some hands-on experience with digital printing using RGB files.  I never RIP'd an sRGB except when testing for an optimized workflow and sRGB was not ever considered.  I created an optimized workflow using Adobe RGB and, when printing photographic images, I utilized ProPHOTO RGB.  I tested all of the RGB spaces and it really depends on the RIP and Print equipment and their capabilities which one is ultimately used.  Get the Adobe Print Publishing Guide.  It will explain a lot of the technical terms and information in depth.  I do not have an answer for why the EC referenced color is not given in HTML or hex.  The important thing to remember is that the internet and the print environments are complete opposites.

                          • 10. Re: What colorguide
                            perrybrus Level 1

                            Here's a copy of the reply from Pantone about the Color Bridge C plus series.

                             

                            "PANTONE COLOR BRIDGE is intended to display the PANTONE solid color - color to the left - and the closest CMYK simulation - color to the right - in side-by-side format. The Guide displays the closest CMYK simulations, graphically illustrating when you can and cannot use CMYK printing to simulate a PANTONE solid color. When the simulation is deemed appropriate, the Guide also provides the CMYK simulation values used to print the color based on the workflow outlined in the copy pages of the Guide.The sRGB and HTML values represent the best possible simulation of PANTONE solid colors on Web pages as viewed by the average computer display. sRGB is the default space for Web design; thus, the product provides a 'bridge' between solid printing, CMYK printing and Web design, hence the title PANTONE COLOR BRIDGE."

                             

                            End of quote.

                             

                            I totally agree with you in terms of the restricted and narrow sRGB space, but I guess Pantone have decided to stick with this theory to explain their products. However, they never managed to answer why the right hue (ref. earlier attached swatch sample) is only defined by CMYK and a new PMS code. The absence of HTML/hexcodes and sRGB is  on the right color is strange cause that hue generates other hexcodes and sRGB values too, not just a PMS value. Unless I have completely misunderstood the construction of this guide.

                             

                            PS. Is this the Adobe guide you are referring to?

                             

                            Official Adobe Print Publishing Guide, Second Edition: The Essential Resource for Design, Production, and Prepress: Bria…

                            • 11. Re: What colorguide
                              jdanek Level 4

                              Yes.  I have volume 1 from around 1995.  Inside is a discussion regarding levels of gray.  I hope it is still referenced in the latest edition.  If you can get your head around levels of gray, you'll have a clearer understanding of the limitations of the printing process.  If not, don't lose any sleep over it.  Most people were never taught the technical aspects of levels of gray.  But, we're getting a bit off topic here.  I hope you get the guide and read it thoroughly.  I do not know your level of education, but even the most experienced people have not read it and do not understand many of the limtations of print, the different color spaces, what paper has to do with anything, and the illusion of the computer based graphics industry.  Should you have ay other questions, feel free to ask away.

                              • 12. Re: What colorguide
                                perrybrus Level 1

                                Thanks for the pointer in regards to levels of gray jdanek. I have a lot of ground to cover in regards to color spaces and print media. As mentioned I'm a total "pixel head" so RGB and hexcodes has been my only reference in terms of colors - ever. I never got around to print, physical media or anything tactile for that matter.

                                 

                                I'm looking trough some corp. brand guides on PDF again and I notice that all the Pantone references are branded C, that's Coated paper as far as I have learned. But why isn't the U / Uncoated colors included? Is that because coated paper is the most used paper in brand communication? My new Pantone color guide box came with both the C and the U fan and the differences between these two are substantial! My eyes went spinning like slot machines when I compared colors on these paper types, the outcome seems almost random at times. Surely there must be a big risk component here? Almost like the dither components on screens, seems very hard to secure one look. So why not define both paper types in corp. brand guides so it's possible to at least find another alternative in cases where the same code looks way off? Any best practice?

                                 

                                PS: I'm attaching a grab from the publicly available brand guide of Fox Crime, I'm doing this to show an example where there's no Pantone references at all. Do you think its because they focus mainly on TV / screen media? Seems strange tough cause they do have the CMYK references.

                                styleguide_rgb_cmyk.gif

                                • 13. Re: What colorguide
                                  jdanek Level 4

                                  Pantone prints additional uncoated guide "fan" books for your reference.  So, designers can get a look at a particular color representation on an uncoated sheet.  Brand guides spec color as Pantone 185 C ( for instance ) even if the piece ( the branding guide itself ) is printed on an uncoated or matte paper.  That's because the color is exactly the same formula, so why reference something that ends up being reiterated or duplicated?  Again, causes confusion and there's enough of that going around ( no need for more ).  But, what would happen if the color was spec'd Pantone 185 U, but the guide was / is printed on coated paper?  It would be a misrepresentation of what they uncoated 185 actually should look like, but can't because of the paper.  Which leads me to another important point.  A particular Pantone spot color will look different on different types of paper ( i.e., gloss coated, uncoated rag, matte, and semi-matte ).  It is very similar to the problem people have looking at the same color, but on different monitors or different ambient lighting conditions.  Not to mention the fact that everyone sees color differently simply because no two eyes are exactly the same or in the same exact condition.  You have to have some level of objectivity and flexibility.  Pantone, by printing the guide books, gives a designer the ability to see "reflective" color using industry standards and decent paper with a particular whiteness value.  Have you ever seen a thirty year old Pantone guide book that was left out in the pressroom, exposed to atmospheric elements like humidiity, dust, and sunlight?  It looks like muted color on faded yellowish paper.

                                  • 14. Re: What colorguide
                                    perrybrus Level 1

                                    Thanks again for the input. Much appreciated.

                                     

                                    I think I understand what you mean in terms of only displaying the Coated Pantone codes in brand guides, but I'm still confused with parts of this. Wouldn't it be best for accuracy to include, if only in brackets, the U version of a PMS color? Although there are many paper types as you point out, Pantone is sticking to C/U in their guides and the printed material is sooner or later going to be viewed on both? I'm not talking about a visual display of the color itself, just the U code reference. Do I understand you correctly if the Coated reference is the industry standard in terms of what to include in visual brand guides? Would let's say a company like Google exclude PMS if they wanted to save the rain Forrest and make a political statement by not print anything anymore - ever! Screen communication only.

                                     

                                    Also, when looking at the existing guideline of the company I'm working at I did a check to see if the color references there corresponded with my brand new Coated & Uncoated ColorBridge Plus Series - but it didn't. When I look up a color from the guide to compare on paper, the processed CMYK version of that very color don't match with what I see displayed in my reference fan. For instance, Pantone 7528 C has a CMYK value of C0 M5 Y10 K10 in the brand guide. When I look it up, that PMS code is next to C5 M10 Y17 K16. And every color in the brand guide misses like this compared to my Pantone fan. Why? Do you think the graphic designers that made that corp. brand guide wanted to use another CMYK than the Pantone guide was showing as processed version next to the PMS, and therefore went on the hunt for another one that they believed matched that gray better? Or did they perhaps use a different reference guide? Or did they start by finding the ultimate CMYK colors and then later added some close PMS codes?

                                     

                                    If CMYK is the most common color space for mass production (cause of cost efficiency) of printed material in let's say in a marketing dep. - then wouldn't it be optimal to lay down a palette of CMYK and then manually choose a Pantone color that you find looks the closest? Or is the Pantone guide actually showing me the absolutely closest thing to what I can expect in CMYK? I'm tempted to try and find a CMYK only paper reference guide! I wasn't able to find any online but wasn't sure what to Google actually. Do I have a point? Please feel free to advice me in any direction here jdanek. 

                                    • 15. Re: What colorguide
                                      jdanek Level 4

                                      OK.  Let me address paragraph 1 of your latest post.  The only time to reference a "U" spot color is when you are specifying the spot color on a proof of a piece that is intended to be printed on uncoated stock ( i.e., stationery ).  For instance, on a business card file, the spot color reference in the color palette should be PMS 185U in whatever application you are using in production.  All CMYK and ink formula references are the exact same as the PMS 185C ink.  Only, in the case of the uncoated stationery, you are telling the prepress department the file is intended for uncoated paper on press and the plate will be output as PMS 185U so no mistakes or miscommunication takes place.  If the business card was to be printed on a glossy coate card stock, then the file would have PMS 185C as the specified color and the plate would have the PMS 185C reference in the plate processing unit.

                                       

                                      Paragraph 2.  Along down the pipeline of people who work on a specific brand will have to comply with whatever is in the branding guide whether it makes sense or not.  And, yes, someone could very well come up with their own CMYK formula for a specific Pantone Spot color, but then they run the risk of "confusion" as you've suggested and inconsistencies.  On top of that, Pantone reformulates their CMYK percentages from time to time ( not all, but most of them ) in an effort to maintain their importance in the industry.  There are Pantone CMYK percentages from 30 years ago still in use today, while others have been reformulated in recent years ( i.e., the plus series ).

                                       

                                      Paragraph 3.  No.  That would be reverse engineering a spot color and would be totally subjective to many of the variables I mentioned in my previous post. 

                                       

                                      Previous Branding Guide Screen Shot.  There are branding / style guides that lead to troubles further on in the pipeline, such as the Fox Crime color palette.  They actually limit themselves to perhaps only digital references. Like I said before, there are no rules.  Obviously they think those color references are important and other ones are not.  They should not be surprised when their fleet vehicles show up in Indigo instead of Maroon.  There are also a lot of misconceptions regarding the state of the industry and where trends appear to be heading.  I find it interesting they did not even "name" each color, instead gave out formulas.  The rest of their branding guide might explain that a bit further.  Or not.

                                      • 16. Re: What colorguide
                                        perrybrus Level 1

                                        There are some technical phrases here that I'm not familiar with that probably makes it harder for me to understand. Like plate processing unit, ink formula references etc. Anyhow, something is best left alone. I have always struggled with mechanics. So now I understand that including the U reference is wrong, bit still, if the marketing dep. says "hey, we need those business cards printed on what we have learned is called uncoated paper!" If it's colors involved the outcome of that won't be anywhere close to the brand guide that always refers to the C colors. As mentioned, looking at my Pantone Bridge guide I'm almost chocked how different most colors look on C and U paper. So, the rule is that we gotta accept it and never publish any U codes in the guide, and instead just contact the print company ahead of printing U colors - right?

                                         

                                        In my case, where the local brand guide have PMS and CMYK references that doesn't match with my color bridge guide they must have picked a CMYK color "manually" by going trough some options. I can't figure out any other reason. Either that or they have a washed out guide, or perhaps some old references? It's 5 different quite saturated identity colors in the guide and none of the CMYK references match up with my guide. Surprises me cause the brand guide is quite detailed in general.

                                         

                                        In terms of Paragraph 3. I get you. No picking CMYK references as base and then follow up with PMS colors that dithers / match those CMYK colors.

                                         

                                        When it comes to my example with Fox my personal theory is that they're a Tv company dealing with RGB and screens, perhaps the Crime segment is for screen communication only (or perhaps a vast majority of times) and that they simply don't wanna include print or any physical media in that specific guide. I don't know if Fox as a whole does that, I doubt that. There's a lot of companies these days that only expose themselves online, on small screen devices, info kiosks, instore-communication systems etc. For many not being in print is a statement within itself. In cases like that it would be almost like a self contradiction to embed PMS and CMYK in the company brand guide. Yes, they can potentially suffer if they wanna brand something tactile like a car, but perhaps they have checked out the outcome in advance without including that in the brand guide, cause they wanna stay loyal to the digital edge that they have. That's just my take on it.

                                         

                                        By the way, the Fox Crime guide says this about their branding guide:

                                         

                                         

                                        "It is a tool for in-house use, mainly designed to communicate the FOXCrime brand consistently from one company area to another, and to ensure that we all understand the essence of the channel. It includes FOXCrime’s graphics, its words, its

                                        images, what it is and what it is not, what programming can be expected, and what kind of added value the brand provides."

                                        • 17. Re: What colorguide
                                          jdanek Level 4

                                          I will respond to each paragraph...

                                           

                                          "There are some technical phrases here that I'm not familiar with that probably makes it harder for me to understand. Like plate processing unit, ink formula references etc. Anyhow, something is best left alone. I have always struggled with mechanics. So now I understand that including the U reference is wrong, bit still, if the marketing dep. says "hey, we need those business cards printed on what we have learned is called uncoated paper!" If it's colors involved the outcome of that won't be anywhere close to the brand guide that always refers to the C colors. As mentioned, looking at my Pantone Bridge guide I'm almost chocked how different most colors look on C and U paper. So, the rule is that we gotta accept it and never publish any U codes in the guide, and instead just contact the print company ahead of printing U colors - right?"

                                           

                                          - The deviation between coated and uncoated ink is a good reason and, most of the time, much consideration and investment creating a color palette for a particular corporate client is necessary.  At a minimum, the Pantone Guides should be studied and referred to with the client to establish a color system that works across all platforms and applications.  "Plate Processing Unit" is in reference to modern day print plate making where the individual plates are digitized through a direct-to-plate operation, usually consisting of a very, very high resolution plate imagesetter.  Each plate should have a reference number someone on the non-image area of the plate itself that indicates the color number.  For instance PMS 185 U should appear somewhere in or on the actual plate or at least in the imaging file that creates the plate. The identification tells the pressman what ink to use for that particular press run.  So, yes.  You absolutely must communicate the inks, whether they are coated and uncoated, to the print vendor and they ( the inks ) should match the paper ( i.e., coated = C; uncoated = U ).

                                           

                                          "In my case, where the local brand guide have PMS and CMYK references that doesn't match with my color bridge guide they must have picked a CMYK color "manually" by going trough some options. I can't figure out any other reason. Either that or they have a washed out guide, or perhaps some old references? It's 5 different quite saturated identity colors in the guide and none of the CMYK references match up with my guide. Surprises me cause the brand guide is quite detailed in general."

                                           

                                          - Yes.  But, it's anyone's guess.  They could very well have not been printed accurately from the get go.  Or, over time, they have faded.  Best to go by current reference material ( i.e., new guides ) and formulas ( i.e., CMYK percentages ).  As far as I know, the Pantone 185C from 1985 is still the Pantone 185C from 2014.  It's the CMYK percentages that may have changed.  Also, as mentioned previously, atmosheric elements and time affect printed material.  Best to go by the numbers and not visual representations alone.

                                           

                                          -  FOXCrime did not think ahead and are limiting themselves purposely.  If I were a stationery designer, I'd want to know what those formulas represent in terms of spot color.  Many current designers may believe that CMYK is all you need.  Or, they are currently working on a more robust branding guide.  Whatever.

                                          • 18. Re: What colorguide
                                            perrybrus Level 1

                                            Thanks again for clearing that up. I appreciate you're input on these matters jdanek.

                                             

                                            Just a comment in regards to my company's brand guide. I'm not comparing printed material, I'm comparing color codes. Each and every CMYK code is a mismatch except from the blacks, so when I compare the PMS codes and the processed codes in the brand guide, the latter is always off compared to my color guide. Since the mismatch is so consistent my guess was that the designer(s) had gone out fishing for a different processed version of those PMS colors than their Pantone guide was generating straight of the bat so speak, just to try and make it more in tune with what they had in mind. My best guess. Just wanted to point that out in case you tough I was visually comparing colors only and not numbers.

                                             

                                            When browsing my Pantone Color Bridge Plus Series I suddenly discover that a small portion of the PMS colors are referred to differently than most of them are. For instance, I found Orange 021 C and another that didn't have any digits at all, its just referred to as Warm red C. Why is this do you think? Why are they suddenly leaving the number structure?

                                             

                                            What if a publication use both C and U papers in the same issue? Is that common or advisable at all?

                                             

                                            I also wonder if PMS really is more accurate in terms of color results than CMYK in modern printing? I briefly had a chat with the printer that does a lot of the company's material and he said PMS was always 100% but with CMYK he needed to run some tests and manually adjust the machinery occasionally to hit the right colors. He also said they were able to mix up to ten PMS colors! But what type of colors are those? Isn't that out of gammut so to speak? Or out of guide to put it differently. You wrote earlier that Spot colors are very efficient in that they should not shift, does this mean they could just keep adding and mixing colors, and is there yet another reference guide for wider colors like that?

                                             

                                            If I can, I also want to touch the subject of the TOYO system that you mentioned briefly earlier. I don't know if this is your home ground but most printers seems a bit foreign to that system, or at least they express little experience in working with it. Some years ago I was talking to a graphic designer that did printed stuff and he was very pleased to show me some very red and bright orange colors that came out extremely saturated. It looked very nice, he used those colors on some Grotesk typefaces, the letters were all embossed and had a glossy effect. I asked him what those colors were and he replied that he had used some TOYO spot colors. Is this too expensive for commercial printers cause it's not a run of the mill production? Is TOYO a system that caters more to artists that don't care too much about the cost of an artistic expression?

                                            • 19. Re: What colorguide
                                              jdanek Level 4

                                              Orange 021 is just another odd name Pantone came up with.  Keep in mind that spot colors are actually hand mixed at the print vendor's shop.  Once mixed, the print vendor might keep the ink in stock for future use.  Each spot color has a formula associated with it and is measured in ounces or pounds ( not sure which ).  There are ink companies that will batch colors for a print vendor.  I have an older Process Color Converter wheel from The Color Wheel Company.  It has all of the Pantone 1000 CMYK equivalents on it.  I looked up Pantone Orange 021 and I get 0%C, 51%M, 87%Y, and 0%K.  I wonder if you get the same numbers from your Plus Series book?

                                               

                                              Spot color is more accurate because CMYK can shift on press.  If just one of the four process colors is off a few percentages, then the color will drift.  You'd have to have had to actually run a press to understand what I am saying. 

                                               

                                              I will write more later.

                                              • 20. Re: What colorguide
                                                jdanek Level 4

                                                Continuing on...

                                                 

                                                ""...able to mix up to ten PMS colors! But what type of colors are those? Isn't that out of gammut so to speak? Or out of guide to put it differently. You wrote earlier that Spot colors are very efficient in that they should not shift, does this mean they could just keep adding and mixing colors, and is there yet another reference guide for wider colors like that?"

                                                 

                                                - I think the person you talked to is talking about CMYK + Spot + Spot + Spot + Varnish.  Not really a mix.  You might design a piece that uses process inks for pictures ( photos ) + Spot color for corporate graphics that cannot deviate, + a metallic + a pastel + a tint varnish, etc., etc.  Don't get too far ahead of yourself.  This can all be very confusing.  But, be extra careful not to refer to "mixing" spot with process.  Spot colors are generally very opaque, whereas process colors are translucent.  Very much a difference there.

                                                 

                                                TOYO inks are just another ink maker.  They are not as popular as the Pantone inks and not as accessible either.  It could get expensive because of the unique ink formulas TOYO inks are made up of.  Not really familiar with them.  However, nice to know there are options available should you need them for whatever application.  Just like metallics and flourescent inks.  Very specialized applications.  I personally like custom tint varnishes and foil stamp applications, as well as custom embossing.

                                                • 21. Re: What colorguide
                                                  perrybrus Level 1

                                                  Alright, I'll make sure I'm not getting too far ahead of myself here cause print is not the main focus of my company's future communication strategy - but branding is and will always be an important factor no matter what or where. The color management aspect of that is a very crucial component and I'm glad you sorted things out in terms of PMS, CMYK and the way to put them to use in corporate brand guides. From what I've seen and also shared here, there's some different approaches when it comes to color strategy in brand guides but best practice should perhaps be better safe than sorry. I'll make sure I'm as accurate as possible when updating and re-designing the existing material I have in hand. Just to make it as complete as possible. I feel better equipped to do so now than just some weeks ago

                                                   

                                                  What's the correct word for a corporate brand guide anyways, is it brand guides or simply visual guidelines?

                                                   

                                                  To follow up on your older Process Color Converter wheel, my Pantone Orange 021 C from the Plus Series book generates 0%C, 65%M, 100%Y, and 0%K. The Uncoated version is 0%C, 45%M, 86%Y, and 0%K. So there's quite a substantial difference to your converter. The CMYK looks brown and way different than the bright orange PMS in any case. I had a look at the sRGB version of this color too, it actually looked less off than the CMYK colors but still a bit to the dark red'ish side and less saturated, at least on my monitor. I love the strong orange hues in the PMS system. I'll have a look at what TOYO can give at a later time. I also like the tactile aspect of print, it's a bit more rewarding when you can actually feel the custom embossing effect.

                                                   

                                                  From personal interest I think the next step would be to get the Pantone metallic reference guide. Could this be the right one?

                                                  Pantone PREMIUM METALLICS & METALLICS Two-Guide Set

                                                   

                                                  I thought the metallics were only different silver, bronze and gold effects? But this guide shows different traditional colors as well, what's the purpose of making a purple metallic? Is that just to enhance the shine of the color instead of coating the paper even more to achieve a shiny effect?

                                                  • 22. Re: What colorguide
                                                    jdanek Level 4

                                                    Just want you to know I will post another reply when I have a moment to do so.

                                                    • 23. Re: What colorguide
                                                      perrybrus Level 1

                                                      Thanks jdanek. I know I have a lot of questions on this topic, it sure is a vast one. Appreciate your contributions.

                                                      • 24. Re: What colorguide
                                                        jdanek Level 4

                                                        "What's the correct word for a corporate brand guide anyways, is it brand guides or simply visual guidelines?"

                                                         

                                                        Not sure if there is a correct or incorrect name for a branding guide.  You might see something like..."Post Raisin Bran Brand Guide".  It may have something to do with the recipients.  I would think it ( the actual name of the publication ) would be decided by a committee.

                                                         

                                                        "I thought the metallics were only different silver, bronze and gold effects? But this guide shows different traditional colors as well, what's the purpose of making a purple metallic? Is that just to enhance the shine of the color instead of coating the paper even more to achieve a shiny effect?"

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        Yes, you're on the right track.  The metallics give you another option on top of varnish, emboss, etc.