Color matching?

CarolinaCabinet

New Member
So, I'm using Illustrator (newbie) and I'm having to match a color. The customer provided me with these color numbers to print and match by. When I put in the given CMYK, it prints pretty well but is not close enough to a perfect match. So then I type in the given RGB, and I notice that Illustrator will not let me keep those percentages, it says that it is out of the color gamut and corrects my numbers. These numbers come from a corporate client and I wouldn't think their numbers are bogus. How should I best try to match these colors. I obviously can keep printing little swatches and tweaking, but what is the BEST method? CMYK? RGB and let it adjust to the gamut? Do you use your Pantone guide?
 

insignia

New Member
Your best bet is to try to get a PMS color from them. That's as close to a universal color matching system as you'll find, you know and have a reliable reference for what, say, PMS 137 should look like so matching it will be much easier. Most printer and RIPs are able to match the majority of PMS colors as well, as long as your color workflow is set up properly.

Try doing this as an experiment. Make your document color mode CMYK in Illustrator, and input your CMYK values for the specific color. Safe as an .eps, open in your RIP and rip as normal, but turn off all color profiles or color correction in the RIP (every RIP is different and it might take some snooping to find where and how to do this, but it's not hard). Print as normal, but make sure you're using a good profile for the media. That may work, it may not, but it's worth trying.

I'd also suggest, especially if matching corporate colors like this will be a common thing to invest in training and equipment to properly profile or calibrate all of your monitors, scanners, printers and media to match.
 

CarolinaCabinet

New Member
Yea, I've thought about getting everything calibrated, but who do I get to do that? I use Illustrator to design, and then I use efi Fiery to RIP to my vutek and Versaworks to RIP to my roland XJ.
 

thmooch

New Member
My last employer had PMS charts printed out on all in house substrates, vinyl, aluminum, pvc, etc. Then we would take the actual PMS chart(the one that fans out) & find which color match was closest. Then make a note in the job for future orders if using same substrate.
 

gabagoo

Member
as a large corperate client one would think that they would hire a design firm that would design for cmyk and not RGB, unless they have never done printed work before which is not likely. I run into these issues at least once or twice a week. I have learned to print as many colour charts as possible and when I see nice colours being printed I go back into the software and see the %ages and record them if I need a colour match close to that in the future. I am pretty sure running 4 col cmyk there are plenty of colours that are just not printable; again stressful in knowing which way to go and wondering if the job might get rejected.
 

CarolinaCabinet

New Member
as a large corperate client one would think that they would hire a design firm that would design for cmyk and not RGB.

They did both actually... they gave me Pantone, CMYK, RGB, Hex, and CMYK for uncoated stock. So I printed out different ones and matched the colors up, and I have a perfect match now, but it was slightly different than the listed CMYK to get that perfect match with the Pantone color guide.

I guess my question was more about why Illustrator said that the RGB listed was outside of my color gamut when the matching CMYK is not... because RGB has a wider gamut. Should I turn off Illy's automatic adjustment to that color, because what it changes the RGB to is not good printed.

I don't know, I guess it's all just a little scary to me. I've been thrown in with the big dogs but using a new system is causing me to do things slower than I previously have been able to work. I REALLY REALLY appreciated being able to get you guys to help me out and wish I could be just as helpful back.
 

gabagoo

Member
I think even if the software allowed you to put the values in the printer only works in cmyk so you can never achieve the colour. It is very helpful to get a pantone bridge chart which shows the cmyk values of pantone colours and just how off they will be. There are some that match up great but most are way off.
 

CarolinaCabinet

New Member
One more question on this topic....
When I am using PRINT within Illustrator to send the graphic to my RIP program, under COLOR MANAGEMENT on the print screen, what settings should I use? For COLOR HANDLING should I "Let Illustrator determine colors" or should I "Let PostScript Printer determine colors"???? If I leave it with Illustrator determining colors, I can also adjust the PRINTER PROFILE from here.
 

jdigital

New Member
Another downfall on Pantone chart swatch books is there will never be a book specifically design for digital printing. There are too many variances in digital printing. Some can replace spot colors in there RIP software which is good but sometimes the colors do not match exactly to the PMS color. We do the same thing as thmooch, print out pantone charts on all media and all printers. this gives us better color management and control
 
If you have a pantone color, I have a method that works pretty well. Open up your document in illustrator in RGB mode. You actually want to be in Adobe 1998 RGB, which is actually a profile meant for CMYK printing. Anyway, open up your "swatches" window in illustrator. In the top right hand corner there is an arrow pointing right, click on that, and open Swatch Library. From the list, scroll down to Pantone Solid Coated. From here you can select your exact pantone color and allpy it to the graphic. Do not convert the color to CMYK or anything, leave it as the pantone value. Now as for saving, you want to save the file as a .pdf. From the setting box, choose "High Quality Print" and save.
Now when printing this .pdf file, make sure your rip software knows that the file is an RGB pdf, and tell it to convert the color spaces with the "relative colorametric" model.
Most rip software uses the Adobe Ace rip engine, which was designed by adobe to do a very good job of getting the RGB gamut to map out very well with CMYK inks. However some pantone colors are undoubtedly out of gamut no matter what you do.
In a few cases I have been able to get away with printing black and a few other colors on crazy colors of cast vinyl.
 

gajeeper

New Member
Lurking newbie here. Thanks for the help. Anyone know where I can download a CMYK chart that has the higher PMS numbers? The one I got from PrintingDigital.net stops in the 5000s or thereabouts. And we need PMS 7499.

Thanks,
 

anotherdog

New Member
If you have a pantone color, I have a method that works pretty well. Open up your document in illustrator in RGB mode. You actually want to be in Adobe 1998 RGB, which is actually a profile meant for CMYK printing. Anyway, open up your "swatches" window in illustrator. In the top right hand corner there is an arrow pointing right, click on that, and open Swatch Library. From the list, scroll down to Pantone Solid Coated. From here you can select your exact pantone color and allpy it to the graphic. Do not convert the color to CMYK or anything, leave it as the pantone value. Now as for saving, you want to save the file as a .pdf. From the setting box, choose "High Quality Print" and save.
Now when printing this .pdf file, make sure your rip software knows that the file is an RGB pdf, and tell it to convert the color spaces with the "relative colorametric" model.
Most rip software uses the Adobe Ace rip engine, which was designed by adobe to do a very good job of getting the RGB gamut to map out very well with CMYK inks. However some pantone colors are undoubtedly out of gamut no matter what you do.
In a few cases I have been able to get away with printing black and a few other colors on crazy colors of cast vinyl.

You know it's just crazy enough it might work!I have some playing to do, I always wanted to make a red that would hurt peoples eyes. :corndog:
 
Lurking newbie here. Thanks for the help. Anyone know where I can download a CMYK chart that has the higher PMS numbers? The one I got from PrintingDigital.net stops in the 5000s or thereabouts. And we need PMS 7499.

Thanks,


Dude open up your pantone swatches in your design software.
 

RavenGraphics

New Member
What colour are you looking for?

I will give the code in RGB or CMYK
Illy.... is quick and simple to change the value of each colour.

Black is #000000
White is #FFFFFF
 

Fuzzbuster

New Member
Print pantone color chart on whatever material your going to use first
Dont forget to laminate it if your final job has laminate on it...IT WILL MAKE IT DARKER

Get customer to pick or approve color from chart

Substitute color fill with proper pantone color in illustrator

going with percentages will never work exactly
EVERY media will print different tones and will change again with laminate on top

Doing it the way I discribed is the only sure way
we print a seperate color chart for every media used

your rip can also affect final outcome(spot color on or off...specially with pantone to pantone color fades)

Best a luck
 

Fuzzbuster

New Member
Sorry man i have no idea WTF you mean???

Pure Colors.......???????????

You on Crack:help

You mean spot colors...???

OH YA...FULL SOLVENT 6 COLOR PRINTER

PS ...EVERY MEDIA PRINTS DIFFERENTLY
 

RavenGraphics

New Member
Yes Fuzz

It must be the Crack of my ***
Because I have sat on it for over 35 years learning this trade.

But now I will keep this a trade secret.
Pure Colour...

CAN YOU SPELL...... (COLOUR)

Mix... Black and White..
and then tell myself
the shade of grey you will come up with in %
 

Fuzzbuster

New Member
OK with the spelling
OK with the inuendoes
OK with the experience

Now seriously are you going to tell us what your talking about?

The guy is trying to get his printer to print a specified customer color
I`m trying to help the guy
the only way I know how to do it is the way I described with the pantone color chart prints
numbers and color specs mean nothing if it aint right
Ink make/software/Rip//printer/media/laminate all have an effect on my print outcome
Calibrating my profiles for media/printers with Gretamacbeth
http://usa.gretagmacbethstore.com/i.../null/MenuGroup/__Menu USA New/desc/i1 iO.htm

going with regular charts wont work...you lle come close but inkjet prints are " imitations " of true colors with cmyk or in my case the 6 colors (2X TOUCAN LT on full solvent)ya have to print youre own charts on whatever media youre using
as everyone will agree, the numbers on the screen dont always match the final print.

CAN YOU SERIOUSLY ENLIGHTEN US?

PS. in the trade for 28 years so you definately trump me by 7 years

Hell maybe were talking about the same thing?
and youre gettin all bent for nuttin
 
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