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Pantone Colors Vs. CMYK, What’s the difference?

If you don’t work in the printing industry or you’re not familiar with Pantone and CMYK colors, they might be a bit of a mystery to you. Pantone and CMYK colors are two of the most popular color matching systems and they determine how a job will be printed.

Pantone color printing is also known as spot color printing, and it’s the best way to ensure that your design is reproduced exactly the same way on every single printed copy and across other mediums. Pantone colors are vibrant and tend to present a crisp, graphic quality. For Pantone colors, you’ll need an official Pantone guide to pick the colors you want, but you can be sure that if you choose 185 red that’s the color that will be printed. Each Pantone color has a code which never changes, unless it’s discontinued. This way the client will get exactly what he or she wants. When using pantone colors, you’ll probably need to see the swatch books in person because choosing them via your computer might result in the promotional materials being a shade lighter or darker than you originally intended. If you need to print a large quantity of promotional materials, Pantone colors are a great choice.

CMYK which stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and key or black are process colors which are used to produce all kinds of stationery and printed collateral. It works by combining the four inks to produce a wide variety of colors. CMYK colors are sometimes inconsistent due to ink color density, temperature and paper quality. Yet CMKY allow for more color possibilities, but a poor print job can lead to dull or inaccurate colors. Although, CMYK color selection can be done online, which means that your printing cost should be low whether you have a small or large print job.

Pantone colors are great for print jobs when you need to print one, two or three specific colors. While CMYK is more often used in magazine and newspaper publishing and for any print job with full color images. Not all Pantone colors can be converted to CMYK and vice versa. But depending on the color you decide to use for your logo or promotional material, it can be printed using both CMYK and Pantone colors.

Hopefully this will help you when it comes to choosing between Pantone and CMYK.

—Tavia 954-523-1957 ext. 25

Pantone Colors Vs. CMYK, What’s the difference? was last modified: January 12th, 2015 by J.M. Field Marketing
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