Problems with Printing in Pantone?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by CW Jones, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. CW Jones macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2009
    I am in school right now for graphic design and I am finding it very difficult to use my Pantone color books when printing. I use them to select a color I want but when I go to print it the color is just a little off. Is there a way to set my laptop and or printer to print closer to the Pantone color guides color?

    I am using a 15" Macbook Pro right now and a Canon MX860 printer. The printer is great for printing, just the color is a bit off. I am thinking its a just a color profile setting or something?

  2. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    Oh course you'll be off! :p You're using a CMYK printer!

    Unless the final output will be on a printing press, just change the document to CMYK. You usually have to print out multiples and adjust the colors accordingly.

    Pantone color books are only good for when you are using Pantone colors in the final piece.
  3. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    For accurate Pantone color, a digital printer should be Pantone certified or support color calibration adjustments. Even then, colors will vary depending upon the paper. This is often why printer manufacturers often sell their own brand of (certified) paper.

    For certification, the printer manufacturer tests and overrides default printer settings for each Pantone swatch to arrive at the closest match. It is important to note that some Pantone colors are difficult or even impossible to match with CMYK colors. Generally there is an acceptable tolerance.

    I have not been able to locate anything that indicates the Canon MX860 is Pantone certified. (I have a MX850.) There is, however a thread that addresses color intensity adjustments on another forum.
  4. CW Jones thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2009
    Alright thanks for the quick answers! I assumed that the sub $200 printer would not be Pantone certified haha. It is funny tho that my printer can get closer to the colors than the huge $1000+ printers at Kinkos and Office Depo!

    Thanks again! I need a new screen calibrator anyways so I will grab another cheap one.
  5. usclaneyj macrumors regular

    May 1, 2005
    When you say "color books" are you referring to physical Pantone color guides, or are you referring to swatch palettes (ie - Illustrator's Pantone Color Books)?
  6. CW Jones thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2009
    Well both. I have the physical set of 3 right next to me on my desk which I got a good deal on, as well as the ones on my computer.

    I was able to get better differences in color when I use the "Screen Calibrated 3-13-10" setting form when I calibrated my screen. Which isn't bad. I am not looking into the Pantone Huey to re-calibrate my screen.
  7. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    If you are going to use printers at Kinko's and Office Depot, then you need to calibrate the color in your workflow with the specific printers that you intend to use.

    Read up on ColorSync.

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