Show of hands amongst non-designers: Who knows what PANTONE and CMYK are?...
...No idea? It’s ok, Let’s take it step by step.
Next time graphic designers ask you about PMS Color do not feel offended. They’re talking about the Pantone Matching System, a set of over 1000 colors that cannot be simulated by combination of other ink. They are also known as solid or spot colors, because their mixed with such precision that you can see no traces of it. Special colors like metallics and fluorescents belong to this system. Only a few of them can be accomplished by mixing the CMYK gamut.
Visit Pantone.com for more color samples
Which brings us to the next point... What is CMYK? Well, it’s another color system. The difference is that this one is based on a mix of four colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black). All colors are created by mixing the four basics.
When it comes to professional printing, PMS Colors are created from their own formula or order by number. CMYK instead are printed with 4 presses, one for each of the base colors. Pantone colors are standardized, there will be no surprise once printed. CMYK colors can vary from your monitor to paper. However, it is not impossible to accomplish.
The PMS color chart is more expensive to print than the CMYK one. Pantone colors are normally used for very specific designs like logos that cannot change or magazine titles. It is also useful when large spaces of the design need to be filled with solid color with no shade variation. When you opt for digital printing, CMYK colors may have small variations from one sheet to the other. But designs with CMYK can be as powerful as Pantone ones when mixed properly.
Talk to your designer about your printing needs. Getting the right color starts with the digital copy. Be clear about your printing objective.
Ask your printing company about the best option for your product before making the order. Most of them offer printing samples. If it doesn’t turn out how you expected it to, you can make changes before printing large quantities.
Image resolution is key. Especially if you’re printing in different sizes.
Pantone or CMYK, quality printing will make the difference for your product. Only trust your projects to professionals. It’ll save you money and headaches in the long run.
We hope this information helps you understand your designer a bit better. Make sure to leave us a comment below with any suggestions or questions.