For Process Colors, Look Beyond Pantone
10 Mar, 2016. 0 Comments. Colors, Resources, Software Tips. Posted By: Tina DeJarld

Of course, if your project is printing in spot color inks (2 or 3 color for example), spot colors like Pantone are what you want. But for 4-color process jobs (CMYK inks), not so much. In that case, we have one piece of advice: Step away from the Pantones!

Most people default to the Pantone (PMS) library because it’s very familiar and the most well-known color system. Some PMS colors render fairly accurately when converted to CMYK equivalents, but most don’t.

A better option is the process color-based TRUMATCH® system. We see several advantages to TRUMATCH:

• It’s more accurate. It’s built with the same ink system used on press — no conversion needed! The system is a 3-D remapping of the 4-color process gamut organized by hue, saturation and brightness. It includes 50 hue families in order of the spectrum with 40 precisely proportioned tints and shades.

• It costs less. TRUMATCH swatch books are $85, vs. the pricier Pantone books. They come in coated and uncoated.  

• It’s easy to apply. TRUMATCH process color libraries are built in to all the major design software, including InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and QuarkXPress. You just pick the color you want from the swatch book and choose that same color in your program.

Screenshot showing the Trumatch library in use.

Screenshot showing the Trumatch library in use.

You can learn more and purchase a swatch book at

InDesignSecrets also has a great post about this topic:

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