Ink color

I have a client that want 2037U but I don’t see it in my older Pantone book. I see there is a coated one of the same number. Can someone tell me the formula for 2037U?

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The PMS formulation is exactly the same between coated and uncoated swatches. If you have it in your coated book, you have everything you need. PANTONE are just showing you what that color would look like on that type of paper. The only reason programs like Illustrator and InDesign have different digital swatches for them is so that on-screen viewing and laser printed proofs more closely match what the ink would look like press printed on the respective stocks. It’s for soft-proof purposes, that’s all.

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

Excuse me if I am wrong, but it sounds like you may not know that Pantone color books usually come in sets of two: one book printed on coated paper with colors having a C after them, and the other book printed on uncoated paper with colors having a U after them. The colors look slightly different depending whether they are printed on coated or uncoated paper. Generally, colors will look very slightly deeper and darker and more lustrous when printed on coated paper (I’ll spare you the scientific reason why this occurs).

If your customer specified 2037U, they obviously know what 2037U looks like. If you print the job without a 2037U swatch to verify the color on the job when you print it, you would be taking some degree of risk, in my opinion. It will also depend, of course, on how picky your customer is. I certainly don’t mean to get you all worried, but just want you to be aware of the situation.

Is there any chance you could have the customer in the shop (but not in the pressroom), to sign off on the color just before you print the job?

Bear in mind though that the pantone swatches are printed in offset – on specially constructed machines – and that the result in letterpress could be quite different. I always tell my customers that I will match the desired Pantone swatch as closely as possible and they’re if in doubt, I invite them to check the colour before I start printing. The final result also depends greatly on the kind and shade/tone of paper that you print on.

pink 8.88
bright red 1.71
trans. white 89.41

The thing with this new swatch is that it calls out for a Pink which is in the new bases, it’s very similar to Rhodamine red.
You might want to tell your client you do not have that swatch in your guide and see how an exact match he or she wants.
It might be fine with just the formula and eyeballing it.

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Pink???? Bright red???? Could someone list all the current bases please…..I’d like to hear what they are and how the new ones on the list, fit in with the old ones. Thanks.

Have not kept up with Pantone—a whole extra system called Pantone GOE came and was discontinued since I bought a new formula guide. A web search shows new base colors pink, bright red, medium purple and dark blue added by 2012 in the Pantone Plus system. See page 5 of this pdf:
I don’t see these plus base colors listed at my suppliers though.

parallel_imp thanks for the info. This is a good reason to get proficient at the skill of matching colors, so you don’t have to have all of the bases. Yes, not having all of the bases will restrict the number of colors a person can make, but in all probability they won’t ever have to make every color in the PMS book anyway.

I could see where having a pink might be handy, to make light pinks, if one needed to make them often. The problem with making light colors is that you may need only a very small percentage of a dark base color, added to white, and those small amounts are harder to measure accurately. If there was a pink base with, say, 10% of the pigment strength of a rubine or a rhodamine, then it would take 10 times as much of it, for instance 20 grams of the pink base instead of 2 grams of rubine, to make the light pink. As I said, it is easier to weigh out 20 grams accurately than it is to weigh out 2 grams, unless you have a very precise scale which goes out to a few decimal places.

You don’t need to buy another (in this case pink) base to do this, though. You can make your own light colored bases by mixing, say 10% of the dark base in 90% white, and then adjusting the formula accordingly.