Pantone is a spot color system and CMYK is a process color system. Pantone 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 on the press using a mix between Cyan, Magenta,
Yellow and black inks. Since there are variations between presses, press
operators and other environment factors, CMYK colors are not guaranteed to be
perfectly reproduced between printers or even print jobs.
Convert from Pantone to CMYK and vice-versa. Why?
In practice, Pantone is favored for spot colors
such as those used in logos and letterhead; while CMYK is good 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
How to convert from Pantone to CMYK and vice versa?
There are several methods to convert a PMS color to CMYK, but results can be different. Pantone sells conversion guides to help you
achieve the best match possible. The easiest method is to use
Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator to make real-time conversions.
Simply open your color swatch and convert your colors.
Sometimes matching Pantone to CMYK color can be a challenge, and as a graphic 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.