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What PMS would you use ...

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To try to match this color?

Hex: #9BBB59
RGB: 155,187,89

I don't have an image to post, but here is a page from the extremely neat color-search website at TinEye:
TinEye Labs

This is also known (perhaps infamously?) as Microsoft's "Olive Green" from the default MS Word color palette. I need to try to match it and would like a PMS color for talking with printers, but there doesn't seem to be any easy equivalent. I thought maybe 392 based on a website search, but I don't have a PMS book so no way to know if it's really suitable.

The use is labels, so our options may be limited anyway, but PMS seems to be the easiest way to speak the same language as printers. Then again maybe I'm too old school! And, as you can tell from my username, I am not a designer, so I don't really know how these things are done. Just curious to know what you'd use in this situation.



I couldn't find an accurate PMS match either. If I come across it I'll be sure to share it here.


Great information.

Just Perfect Color

Realize this is an old post. It is not clear if the labels mentioned are to be printed with process (CMYK) or flat color. I am guessing the latter since there was a search for a flat PMS color? If not, just type the RGB code into the color tool you are using than convert what you are printing to CMYK.

Flat ink is a mixture of different pigmented ink colors according to a formula. 6 parts this, two parts this, 1 part this and that, etc. Process color is always cyan/blue, magenta/red, yellow and black (sometimes multicolor presses will print extra passes of the same, flat ink colors, varnishes, etc.). Process color actually uses tiny dots of the different colors overlayed on top of each other to make up the desired color. Flat ink is more intense intense and specific. You can also get opaque, metallic, florescent, etc. flat color inks. PMS [whatever number] is just the color specified and not a combination of the four process colors.

In the olden days, you needed to make color separations for process color and a plate for each process color. You had to imprint the paper with each plate either four times on a one color press, two times on a two color press or once on a four color press. This was expensive. You only needed one plate per flat color. Now most process color is done with inkjet type equipment not unlike overgrown versions of your desktop printer. No plates. Lots of the craftsmanship is gone though and things you could do with real negs and plates is gone.

Periodically, someone boldly posts an RGB or CMYK to Pantone conversion chart online. Pantone spots it angrily sends a cease and desist letter and the information disappears again. I understand to a point. Pantone makes its money on guides and things.

That said, here a couple things to try.

There is a Pantone Android (and I assume an iPhone) smartphone application that is not at all expensive (under $10 as I remember) and it will do some conversions. I have not needed it since semi-retiring so cannot tell you how well it works.

Your printer will have a Pantone formula book they will lend you. You can match the color fairly quickly. Just make sure it is current. They fade over time.

Monsell is another color system used somewhat extensively although not like it once was. You can convert RGB to it at Easy RGB---a free conversion site. Easy RGB is great for converting RGB to other things like paint from the major companies too!

Easy RGB Converts RGB to Paint, Monsell, Etc. Codes
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