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7on
Feb 7, 2008, 12:34 PM
When printers print PANTONE colors, are they buying ink from the company PANTONE or are they just mixing PANTONE paints themselves from a spec PANTONE puts out?

I have no idea which is correct. Thanks!

EDIT: Also my boss has some crazy idea that PANTONE is on the way out... which I KNOW is crazy...



Jim Campbell
Feb 7, 2008, 03:18 PM
When printers print PANTONE colors, are they buying ink from the company PANTONE or are they just mixing PANTONE paints themselves from a spec PANTONE puts out?

I have no idea which is correct. Thanks!

EDIT: Also my boss has some crazy idea that PANTONE is on the way out... which I KNOW is crazy...

The printers I used to work had hundreds and hundreds of tins of official Pantone ink. That's kind of the point, as far as I understand it. If the printers are mixing the colours themselves, they're introducing the same risk of colour variation as standard CMYK colours.

Plus, I'm not sure how one would mix a fluoro or a metallic ... :D

Cheers!

Jim

PixelFactory
Feb 7, 2008, 03:39 PM
Pantone makes 14 base color inks plus a translucent white ink that are mixed to create the colors we specify from a pantone book. Printers will generally update their Pantone books annually so they can match to them (they fade over time). There are also 7 base metallic inks, 14 fluorescent inks, the 6 hexachrome inks and of course, CMYK. Metallics can be mixed with the base inks but I do not think you can mix fluorescent inks.

AlexisV
Feb 8, 2008, 04:17 AM
It's all surprisingly low tech! They mix inks from various tins.

Picking a colour completely at random from a colour book, brown 4705 is

4 parts or 18.2% Yellow
4 parts or 18.2% Ruby red
3 parts or 13.6% Black
11 parts or 50% Translucent white

Z.Beeblebrox
Feb 8, 2008, 08:42 AM
I'm guessing it probably works like when you buy house paint from Home Depot. Let's say you order red house paint. They have cans of white paint that they put under a nozzle and punch in the red paint's color code number into the computer. The computer-aided machine draws small, precise amounts from a palette of base pigments which are added to the white base paint in exact proportion to the formula for that particular red. Then the can is sealed and shaken to properly mix the paint. That way, if you order a can of red house paint one day, run out and have to go back for more, you can always get the same color over and over again.