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Thread: Does anyone on the forum work in the printing industry?

  1. #1
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Another post tonight mentioned the Pantone color guide... and so I looked it up, but apparently Pantone makes a number of different color guides. I'm hoping someone will be able to tell me what the differences between them is.

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    It is an int'l color matching system used by the graphic arts. Each color has a code. I used it for mixing speciality inks for my printing presses. They have pastel guides, metallic, interior..you name. Pantone comes out every year with "colors" of the year for home and fashion.
    I believe there is a site where you can print out guides..of course the colors will differ a bit with each printer. Color wheels at the quilt store are alot cheaper.

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    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    I was thinking that it might be nice to have a way of identifying, say, the 6 most important colors in a fabric; with the idea of being able to run a search on our site to look for other fabrics with the same (or a close) color on it.

    I have seen similar functionality on other sites, but I suspect that it's done by using a color picker on the fabric images, and those are not necessarily exactly the same as the fabric itself. It would be safer (though labor intensive) to identify the important colors by actually looking at the fabric.

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    Super Member KatFish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite Fabrics
    Another post tonight mentioned the Pantone color guide... and so I looked it up, but apparently Pantone makes a number of different color guides. I'm hoping someone will be able to tell me what the differences between them is.
    Each ink company has their own book called a PMS ( printers matching system) Pantone is just one brand of ink. The ink color in Pantone is not always the same color in another brand, hence the PMS book so printers can get really close to the ink color you want and to match another brand.

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    Super Member Sandee's Avatar
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    HAHAHA. My hubby was a printer for 41 yrs & was just laid off forever. Every night he would come home & complain about the new bosses who bought the place & thought that just any old ink of the approximate color would do. That is why they lost accounts,the company is going down & all the top guys were laid off. He tryed to explain to them about all the colors being different, but they wouldn't listen. People who buy the printed products want their colors to be EXACT! Sorry to rant, just hit me funny about ink-there are millions of colors!!!!!

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    Super Member fabric whisperer's Avatar
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    I've been a graphic designer, active in the industry since 1982 ~ I can email files to a printer in Michigan and one in Minnesota, and print a job locally, and they theoretically should all match... IF the printer follows the PMS system. Each color is assigned a number... so If I design a logo with hot pink & deep purple, I can give those PMS numbers to any printer, and if they are reputable, will hit the mark right on.

    It would be wonderful if the fabric industry would match, would make my life easier... but dye lots make that impossible. Even tho good mfg's try and be very very precise with their fabric print runs, there are still variances, even with the biggies list Waverly and Hoffman and Moda. Look at a bolt you just got, and one from 1 year ago. You'll see slight color diffs!

    Another thing is, if you have an "old" PMS book, the colors could have faded if the book was not stored properly... I was told in college that my PMS book should be replaced each year. Couldn't always afford that, but I took very detailed notes on client jobs, so I always had PMS numbers logged.

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    Thanks, this topic was quite informative.

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    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Pantone makes something called a GoeGuide:
    http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone...?pg=20467&ca=1

    Looks like the ultimate color matching system... or, at least, good enough for my purposes. With 2058 that ought to allow me to define fabric colors pretty well.

    From what I've read, it has numbers that correspond to CMYK (cyan-magenta-yellow-black) pigments, for printing, and also they have RGB (red-green-blue) numbers that correspond to colors on a computer screen. (YES!)

    And they make these color fans on glossy paper, and flat. I'm assuming that to match cloth, flat would be better.

    They make color swatches on cloth, too but to buy that would cost THOUSANDS of dollars. The paper version is under $200.

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