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View Full Version : PMS Colors from Illustrator? (quick question)




davisjw
Aug 3, 2009, 02:56 PM
Hello,

I'm on my first project to a printer and they need the PMS colors from a logo I did in Illustrator. How do I find out what the PMS colors are?

Thanks!



tobefirst
Aug 3, 2009, 03:11 PM
If you used PMS colors, when you click on an object, the colors of that object will show up in the color palette. You'll need to do this for every differently colored object to find all the PMS colors you've used. If you didn't use PMS colors, then your piece will need to be printed 4 color process (CMYK).

jbennardo
Aug 3, 2009, 03:23 PM
I would add that even if you built your logo in CMYK, you can convert each color to Spot PMS. In the swatches palette, click on the little contextual menu at the top right. Add a swatch library... color books... Pantone (there's a few different ones - solid coated or uncoated)

Keep in mind that your printer needs PMS colors so your project will separate into different plates. The PMS colors will make those for him plus let him know which colors you're printing. If you don't feel like or aren't comfortable picking accurate PMS colors on screen, you can make the separations with cmyk and use a physical color book to pick your colors.

For instance, if your logo is a solid blue, solid green and a solid gray... use 100% cyan for everything that's blue, 100% magenta for anything green and 100% yellow for anything gray. As long as you use 100% you'll still get 3 plates. When you go to your printer, you can specify your PMS colors after looking through chip charts. It's not the best way to do things but just a work around from the old days. :D

davisjw
Aug 3, 2009, 03:40 PM
I used CMYK and never bothered with PMS colors (beginners mistake I guess). It's for a business card print job. So really there's no way to just hand them the color codes? I.e. for my blue color the codes were:
Blue:
H: 237
S: 49%
B: 73%

R: 95
G: 99
B: 188
C: 71%
M: 67%
Y: 0%
K: 0%
#5F63BC

I need the exact colors I've used (2) because there's other things this logo has been on before.

For future consideration, in what mode should I be designing logos so when they go to print there's no problem like this?

jbennardo
Aug 3, 2009, 03:53 PM
I used CMYK and never bothered with PMS colors (beginners mistake I guess). It's for a business card print job. So really there's no way to just hand them the color codes? I.e. for my blue color the codes were:
Blue:
H: 237
S: 49%
B: 73%

R: 95
G: 99
B: 188
C: 71%
M: 67%
Y: 0%
K: 0%
#5F63BC

I need the exact colors I've used (2) because there's other things this logo has been on before.

For future consideration, in what mode should I be designing logos so when they go to print there's no problem like this?

It happens :D

I would suggest you look at a physical color book and pick from that. There are some books that have the CMYK equivalent which will help you get close. Very rarely almost never are PMS colors and CMYK builds exactly alike. Pick from the color book because what you see is what you'll get. It's ink that comes out of a can and not a whole lot of chance for things to go wrong.

I still do a lot of my design in CMYK unless it's for web, then RGB. Early on, it shouldn't really matter you're just trying to rough out the design. If you see that the logo/design is only a few colors, then you can start moving towards spot PMS. If a client is adamant enough, they'll usually just tell you.. "our company colors are this and this..." otherwise, you can usually just pick something close. Unfortunately, you may have gone well down the line with a color that you may not be able to match on the button. I'm sure you can get close though.

Just playing around, I found PMS 2726 for you... it's cmyk breakdown is 79/66/0/0. As you can see, close, but not exact.

davisjw
Aug 3, 2009, 03:56 PM
It happens :D

I would suggest you look at a physical color book and pick from that. There are some books that have the CMYK equivalent which will help you get close. Very rarely almost never are PMS colors and CMYK builds exactly alike. Pick from the color book because what you see is what you'll get. It's ink that comes out of a can and not a whole lot of chance for things to go wrong.

I still do a lot of my design in CMYK unless it's for web, then RGB. Early on, it shouldn't really matter you're just trying to rough out the design. If you see that the logo/design is only a few colors, then you can start moving towards spot PMS. If a client is adamant enough, they'll usually just tell you.. "our company colors are this and this..." otherwise, you can usually just pick something close. Unfortunately, you may have gone well down the line with a color that you may not be able to match on the button. I'm sure you can get close though.

Just playing around, I found PMS 2726 for you... it's cmyk breakdown is 79/66/0/0. As you can see, close, but not exact.

Fantastic, thanks. May I ask how you were able to "play around" and find it? Is there a website that helps? Sorry for the questions, this is just causing me problems I didn't foresee..

Designer Dale
Aug 3, 2009, 05:11 PM
Fantastic, thanks. May I ask how you were able to "play around" and find it? Is there a website that helps? Sorry for the questions, this is just causing me problems I didn't foresee..

I believe he did something like this.

Made an ai file using your cmyk colors. Opened the options flyout on the Swatches Pallet and scrolled down to Pantone Solid Coated to open that color library, placed it next to the cmyk swatch and scrolled through the list until he found a match.

Be sure you give the printer what they want. There are two interpretations of "PMS numbers", Spot and Process. Spot is the exact ink and has a name and/or number like Rubine Red or Pantone 303 C. Process is the same approximate color as a cmyk build. Rubine Red becomes c0 m100 y15 k4 and 303C becomes c100 m11 y0 k74. If the job runs on a small press, they use the spot ink or mix it themselves, which requires the cmyk numbers. If it is a full color job, it will run on a 4 tower press.

Before you send the file out, choose Select All Unused from the Swatches Option menu. It will highlight all of the colors you don't use. Drag them to the trash at the bottom of the Swatch window. This will reduce the file size.

Please correct me.

Dale

jbennardo
Aug 3, 2009, 05:32 PM
Yep Dale that pretty much covers it!

I drew a box and filled it with the CMYK values you gave me then duplicated it and moved it next to box 1 for comparison. I pulled up the Pantone library like Dale shows below and started trying different pantone colors to box 2 until I could barely see any difference between the two.

decksnap
Aug 3, 2009, 06:30 PM
The pantones will seldom look correct on screen, if you are trying to match cmyk values. I would print it out and go by the book.

davisjw
Aug 4, 2009, 07:16 AM
Thank you all very much! I've sent it off to the printer and hopefully there wont be any more questions (at least concerning this topic:D)!

design-is
Aug 4, 2009, 07:52 AM
Good luck :) Hope it turns out well for you!

For future projects, the printer will almost certainly have Pantone swatches available for you to look at if you need to. If you are local to your printer that is, otherwise its not very useful.

/Doug