NEW PANTONE PLUS COLORS CREATE HEADACHES FOR PRINTING
by Morel Ink– 3/12/14
Attention graphic designers - Adobe has changed the way it builds colors in all their programs, versions CS6 and later. This can cause unexpected color-shifts for any CMYK-built print projects. Don’t rely on spot-color settings you’ve previously used because they can now look much different when converted to process color.
Pantone previously had two sets of Color Bridge libraries; one for the United States, and one for the rest of the world. With the addition of the new Pantone Plus Series, Pantone combined them into one universal set (as well as adding 336 new colors). Because Pantone solid colors are intended to be used only as spot ink, Pantone had decided to drop the CMYK definitions (for printing) and only provide Lab definitions (for screen display).
If a printer is printing with spot color, no problems will arise. However, it is very common for proofs to be printed as CMYK builds. Some designers will use Pantone colors even though they don’t intend to print with a spot ink. This is where the problem begins. So, what is the solution? Adobe says: “When designing solely for Spot Color printing, use the PANTONE SOLID libraries. The PANTONE COLOR BRIDGE libraries should be used IF AND ONLY IF you intend to output CMYK separations to simulate PANTONE colors.” Unfortunately, Adobe’s “solution” does not apply to documents that have already been created.
What Morel Ink recommends: Reprints of older documents: If possible, continue editing them in CS5 (or earlier) and output CMYK pdf files. New files should utilize Adobe’s recommendations above. Just be sure the colors specified are really what you want when using the Pantone Plus swatch color books. Supply us with as much info about the intended outcome as possible, like what version of the software was used to create the document, and are they needing an exact color match for a previously printed job. If so, printed samples should be supplied. For your most color-critical work, we can also employ Epson proofs and press checks.
More technical details: If you aren’t interested in using Pantone’s 336 new colors, and you simply want your libraries back to the way they were: You can load the old CS5 Pantone Matching System libraries and delete the CS6 Pantone Plus libraries. This is not entirely as easy as it sounds, you will need to do some research first. One place to start is the Adobe forums: Link here.
Please note that the swapping of the Pantone libraries is not recommended by Adobe and you should proceed with caution if you choose to go this route.
If you have questions or are unsure how to proceed, contact Vickey Wilson in the Morel Ink prepress department at: email@example.com or call 503-736-0111, ext. 45.
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