Due to insufficient demand, our EasyMatch QC software does not have a Pantone correlation built into it, but there are several workarounds.
The use of L*, a*, b* color values is the best method of quantifying color at a high level of precision, covering the entire gamut of colors within human color perception.
Pantone Color System is a less precise reporting scale, limited to the range of Pantone products. It is discontinuous and designed for visual comparison and communication only.
The Pantone Color Chip System is manufactured by off-set litho printing. These color standards are used extensively in the graphics arts industry but were designed as a visual guide only. They are reasonably reproducible such but if you measure several chips of the same color from different lots purchased in different locations across the country or even over time, the color values may vary.
Pantone color chips work for their design purpose as a visual guide for color communication.
Options for Correlating Color Values to Pantone
1. If a Pantone chip is being provided as a target color, just purchase the chip (www.pantone.com) and read it in as your standard to match to. Prepare the color of your product to match the chip as closely as possible in terms of color difference values. If your material is significantly different in surface roughness from the chip, you will need to verify the match visually and make adjustments to match the visual evaluation.
2. If Pantone chips are being provided for targets and tolerances, a workaround is just to read in the target chips as your product standard and determining the +/- tolerances by reading in the tolerance chips. This provides a direct colorimetric correlation of target and tolerances to the Pantone chips. Again, verify the match visually.
3. Adobe Photoshop can be used to find the nearest Pantone Color chip to the measured color.
- Measure your product and determine the L*, a*, b* values.
- File/New and create a file in an L, a, b mode.
- Then go to Color Picker and enter the L*, a*, b* values of the measured color.
- Select Custom and the Pantone Color nearest to the color values entered will be displayed.
4. Pantone www.pantone.com offers Color Manager software that provides color values in various formats for their different product databases. It is believe that this package uses the same color libraries as in Adobe Photoshop.
FAQ: "Does anyone have a data base of Pantone colors that can be imported into EasyMatch QC?"
Pantone does not readily share the target values for their colors. The closest you will likely find is the color libraries used in Adobe Photoshop or Pantone Color Manager software.