Simply Converting CMYK to Pantone

cmyk to pantone

Converting across multiple formats is never easy.  CMYK, Pantone, HEX, RGB, the list goes on.   With so many tools online to use, it’s hard to weed out what is truly going to help.   Here is a quick tool I use all the time.  A very simple converter of CMYK to Pantone colors.  Just put in CMYK color values and it will kick out a PMS color match and anything else in the color family.  There truly isn’t an easier way to go from CMYK to Pantone.

A quick “how-to” guide can be found on the link, but its fairly simple:

How to use this tool

  • Input the CMYK code or use sliders
  • If any PMS colors close to the CMYK color, it will show
  • If no PMS colors close to the CMYK color, add the color distance.
  • If your browser does not support HTML5 Canvas, please upgrade your browser to enable this.

cmyk to pantone 2

Simple and effective – just like this blog.

Do you have a better method of going from CMYK to Pantone colors?  If so, we would love to hear about it in the comments section below.

You can match your CMYK four-color process to Pantone using this free tool. If you’ve ever had to print a Pantone-colored logo to a CMYK press, you know it can be difficult to achieve the perfect color match. Some Pantone colors simply cannot be reproduced by CMYK, though many can be if you use the right conversion method. Problem is, many different designers advocate many different methods, from the Pantone Process Guide to simply using a CMYK to Pantone conversion chart or swatches

What’s the difference between Pantone and CMYK?

The simplest explanation is that Pantone is a popular spot color system and CMYK is a process printing system. Pantone spot colors are solid inks assigned numbers that look the same no matter who prints them, which is why spot color is especially important for corporate identities and branded images. CMYK colors, on the other hand, are created (processed) on the press using a mix between Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK inks. Since there are variations between presses, press operators and other factors, CMYK colors are not guaranteed to be perfectly reproduced between printers or even print jobs.

Why would I want to convert from Pantone to CMYK and vice versa?

In practice, Pantone is favored for solid colors such as those used in logos and letterhead; while CMYK is favored for mixed colors such as those evident in multi-colored photographs. That being said, printing with Pantone inks can be expensive and many companies prefer to use CMYK process to save money, especially if a Pantone color can be perfectly or closely duplicated using CMYK. Conversely, a company might decide to switch to Pantone after using CMYK four-color process and needs to match the Pantone color to the CMYK mix. The goal is a branded, uniform look that does not unnecessarily inflate marketing expenses.

In some cases, it is impossible to match Pantone colors using CMYK – but you can get close. Matching Pantone to CMYK color can be a challenge, and as a designer you have to understand that the two systems are indeed different, and 100 percent matches are not always possible. You can match most Pantone colors using CMYK, however, and in doing so you can save money and increase your return on investment.



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