7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 17, 2010 1:14 PM by Printer_Rick

    Crazy color conversion prodblem


      I'm designing a package using PMS662. I color will be used in process. In PS when converted to process I get values of C:100 M:94 Y:31 K:13. In InDesign and Illustrator however I get values of C:100 M:71 Y:0 K:18. Now I know I can simply set the matching values in PS since this will printed in process, so this is more a curiosity thing that I'd like to better understand.


      Some background - Color Settings are sync'd between apps and the color was selected from the same named Pantone book (Pantone Solid Coated) in all three apps. I've been doing this a long time and have never notice any other color be so different between programs.


      Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks.



      PS - I've attached a screen shot of the setting in PS for reference.


      CS4 Color Settings.png

        • 1. Re: Crazy color conversion prodblem
          Printer_Rick Level 4

          InDesign and Illustrator use Pantone Solid to Process values by default.


          2 options:


          1. In Photoshop, use the Solid to Process library when picking the color.


          2. In InDesign, swatch panel, Ink Manager, use Lab values for spots. Illustrator, swatch panel, Spot colors, use Lab values.


          With option 1 you get Pantone Solid to Process book numbers. With option 2 you use Lab book numbers. These get converted to the destination CMYK. As long as Color Settings and document profiles are synced, the conversion from Lab to CMYK should match in all three applications.


          With both Illustrator and Photoshop, be aware that if the documents are RGB, that will change the result. Working with Pantones in RGB can be somewhat difficult. Let me know if you have questions.

          • 2. Re: Crazy color conversion prodblem
            mdonahue Level 1

            Thanks Rick. Now the question is which method is going to be easiest to get the other at my office to adopt as the new method of operation.


            On the one hand Option 1 will mean that we can match against our current Pantone Books, while Option 2 I suspect will give use a closer match to the spot color itself. Option 2 seems best to me but who knows what everyone else will choose.


            Thanks again,


            • 3. Re: Crazy color conversion prodblem
              mdonahue Level 1

              prodblem? Spell checker in the subject line would have been handy for me.

              • 4. Re: Crazy color conversion prodblem
                Printer_Rick Level 4

                You are correct, from a color management standpoint Option 2 is much better. As long as you have the proper CMYK ICC you theoretically get the best match (which still oftentimes falls very short, i.e. Pantone 293)


                The funny thing is that hardly anyone uses option 2. One reason I suspect is that ID an AI defaults to Solid to Process and no one changes the default setting.


                Something else to consider. Pantone has in fact abandoned solid to process. The new books are Color Bridge. Some of the builds are very different. But again, hardly anyone uses Color Bridge because it's not the default behavior.


                My honest opinion: try to avoid using Pantone Solid colors for CMYK designs. Many of the colors can't be matched anyway. I think the Pantone Process colors are a good option (the ones that start with DS). As long as your monitor is calibrated properly and you have an accurate CMYK ICC, when you select a Pantone Process swatch you can see a decent soft proof of the print color on-screen.

                • 5. Re: Crazy color conversion prodblem
                  bpylant Level 2

                  +1... I never spec Pantone colors when the output is process. It's much better to use a specific CMYK build, so you know exactly what you're going to get (assuming you have the correct profile, of course).


                  I see so many designers using Pantone colors for process, and IMO that's a serious flaw in their working habits.

                  • 6. Re: Crazy color conversion prodblem
                    mdonahue Level 1

                    You're absolutely right. The problem I run into is ingrained mindsets that can't seem to adjust a new way of doing things. If I had my way 20+ years ago I would converted every one to TRUMacth. They we're doing spot colors from CMYK builds long before Pantone got around to it. But it's like convincing people to switch from Quark to InDesign. Some folks are just in a comfort zone that they refuse to leave even when all the facts point to a better way.


                    Rick - is there a way for AI to change the default for existing .ai and .eps files. I updated the default AI files so all new docs use the lab conversion, but I can't see a way to handle existing files without manual intervention. Any ideas?

                    • 7. Re: Crazy color conversion prodblem
                      Printer_Rick Level 4

                      I can't see why an Illustrator action wouldn't work. Then in the Actions panel select Batch.


                      As long as the spot colors are book colors, it should work fine.


                      You could also use InDesign to repurpose the color but that's a little more involved. Probably easier to run the Illustrator action.