Understanding Colours

Conversion from RGB or CMYK to Pantone (PMS) is not accurately possible with software, simply because screen colours (RGB) will vary from one computer to another due to differences in graphics cards and screens. Likewise print colours (CMYK) will vary from one printer to another due to many print parameters.


If you send a file to two different printing companies, even if the file is set in CMYK, the colour or print you receive from each company won’t be identical, and in some cases will be completely different.

How do we overcome this fundamental problem?

The PMS (Pantone Matching System) is a standard coded colour range enabling all print companies to work to the same goal, this is a standard system used in all areas of the printing industry.

The only true way to obtain the desired Pantone reference is with a physical Pantone chart, screen selection or printing your own chart will not work! With this reference we, or any other print company will make test prints and adjust accordingly until the print matches the chart.

Generally in 90% of print the colours are not critical, i.e. a red is a red a blue is a blue and so on, however when the product forms part of the branding we understand things must be a very close match. This is where the Pantone reference must be provided, this way all print companies involved are working to the same colour target.

If you don’t have access to a chart a tip would be to ask your printing company to provide you with the Solid Coated Pantone number before the goods have been shipped to you, you can then note this and provide this reference with any future orders you may place. If you order repeat prints from the same supplier its best to make them aware your goods are to match your previous order.

Generally with banner printing colours are not as critical, however if this is important to you, you must make us aware at point of order.