Are you a photography enthusiast, professional designer, branding expert, or some other kind of visual perfectionist? Then, we don’t have to tell you that you need to convert RGB to PMS before sending your digital image files to print. But do you know how to do that?
If your answer is not, stay with us. In today’s article, we’ll discuss the importance of printing in Pantone and go through some of the best RGB to PMS conversion tools.
In this article
Why Convert RGB to PMS
RGB stands for red, green, and blue, a combination of colors that creates the vibrant pictures we see on our screens. PMS is an acronym for Pantone Matching System, a standardized color scheme used in printing projects.
If you wish to turn a digital image into a physical print, converting its color system from RGB to PMS is generally a good idea. There are a few strong reasons for this.
The colors that look clear and vibrant on the computer screen often turn out dim and dull when put to paper. You’ve surely noticed this. In addition to that, the likelihood of getting identical shades when printing out the image on different printers is usually very slim.
Unlike CMYK, a color system we typically use for printing, PMS takes inconsistency out of the picture. Choosing Pantone ensures you always have matching colors.
Branding & Color Matching
Speaking of matching colors, nowhere is this consistency more important than in branding. The key purpose of a well-designed logo is to be instantly recognizable, and colors play a crucial role in this. When it comes to branding, no variations in color output are allowed.
Pantone’s other name is Precision. PMS was designed to provide a uniform color system that will eradicate unpredictable changes in print by mixing ink to replicate color.
As of 2019, there are 2161 colors in the Pantone system. Different shades are mixed to achieve the exact color match for each print. The result is immaculate precision without as much as invisible variance between printers. PMS is universal everywhere in the world.
Color Fidelity and Overall Quality
All these things considered, printing quality is much better and more accurate with PMS than CMYK. Sharper colors and greater precision highlight details and do justice to individual objects, from their primary colors to shades. A Pantone image is faithful to the initial print.
Top RGB to PMS Conversion Tools
Knowing all this, it’s no surprise that designers, branding professionals, photographers, and other visual artists print all their projects in PMS. The question is – how do you convert RGB to PMS? Do you need an expert’s help for this? No. You only need the right tool.
We wanted to help, so we had our designer friends curate a list of top PMS color converter tools. Here’s what to expect regarding features, price, and benefits.
Pantone Connect is a browser-based conversion tool also available as a mobile app and an Adobe Extension, making it perfect for enthusiasts and professionals alike. It’s much more than a PMS converter; you can also pick, extract, and share color samples.
- Pick & Save – Search the colors you like and save them for later use;
- Color Match – Extract colors from digital files and find their PMS match;
- Convert – Find the nearest RGB/CMYK/Hex/Lab color equivalents;
- Measure – Use Pantone Connect to capture color in the physical world;
- Color Story – Craft a collage, and Pantone will sample your favorite colors;
- Swatch Sharing – Send palettes to your collaborators to ensure consistency.
Pantone Connect is practical, but it’s not free. Premium subscription for individuals is $14.99 per month or $89.99 a year, while the multi-seat gear costs $89.99 per year per seat.
ColorZilla is widely regarded as one of the best graphic design tools available today. The best way to use it is as a browser extension (for Chrome or Firefox), but there is also an online gradient generator with customizable presets. All ColorZilla tools are on hand in your browser.
- Eyedropper – Sample colors from pixels anywhere on the web;
- Color Picker – Advanced color-picking tools for professional use;
- Webpage Color Analyzer – Instantly analyze colors on any page;
- Palette Viewer – A practical viewer with seven pre-installed palettes;
- Color Auto Copy – Copy and save in RGB, PMS, and other formats.
One of the best things about Colorzilla is that it is free for anyone to experiment with its tools. It’s the same for all versions and is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
Adobe’s Creative Cloud Tools comprise a huge suite of utilities for any design-related use. Despite being so comprehensive, it is still one of the easiest toolkits to use. In addition to editing, animation, and app design, the extensive list also includes a converter.
- Photography – Photo editing tools for desktop as well as their online versions;
- Video – Tools for everything from editing to motion graphics to video capture;
- Website and App Design – Software for professional web designers and builders;
- 2D and 3D Animation – Master animation, illustration, 3D, typography, and more;
- Business Design – Create brochures, business cards, logos, postcards, and more;
- Arts & Crafts – Everything you need for graphic design and freehand drawing.
Adobe’s myriad of tools comes with many pricing plans, depending on what functionalities you need. For color conversion, opt for Acrobat Pro, which is $ 19.99 per month.
Coder’s Tool is an open-source library of tools and utilities that every coder and coding enthusiast would find useful. The most popular tools include SQL Query Visualizer, JSON Flatten, Share Code Snippets, etc. Among them is an excellent RGB to PMS conversion tool.
- Quick Match – Match RGB to Pantone without a PMS book;
- Distance – Find the nearest match if you can’t find the exact one;
- Color Picking Panel – Select a desired color from a wider palette.
Like all other tools available on this site, color conversion doesn’t cost anything.
Studio Red is an award-winning design consultancy specializing in branding and product design, as well as UX and UI. They also offer some free tools for aspiring professionals from different fields – Tip Point Calculator, Snap Force Calculator, and Pantone Color Converter.
- Reversible Converter – Convert RGB into PMS or the other way around.
The great news is – you don’t have to pay anything to use Studio Red’s Color Converter.
Ginifab RGB to PMS Converter might be the best pick if you’re in a rush to find a Pantone equivalent for your RGB color. It specializes exclusively in color conversion, so it’s not a part of a bigger toolkit. On the other hand, it has both the color-picking panel and the distance feature.
- Color Matching Panel – Pick your closest match from a color scheme;
- RGB/HSV/CMYK Input – Type in color values or enter the Hex code;
- Color Distance – Adjust the distance from the desired color match.
Don’t worry about the price. Ginifab RGB to PMS Converter is 100% free to use.
Did You Know You Can Use Tools to Color Your Images?
You heard that right! Photographers and professional designers have been experimenting with this technology for a while, but it has only recently become available for public use. If you want to bring new life into old family photos or reverse a B&W photo effect, you can use it!
An easy way to do this is with Repairit Online Photo Colorizer:
- You can choose from multiple coloring results;
- Fix damaged photos and enhance their quality;
- Support for JPG, JPEG, PNG, BMP, WEBP, and GIF;
- The size limit for Online Photo Colorizer is 300MB;
- Three-step process with a drag-and-drop action.
Wondershare Repairit Online Photo Colorizer was designed with a powerful AI algorithm, so it can remove deep scratches, clear blurry spots, fix missing parts, and colorize up to 300 black and white photographs monthly. If you need more than that, consider getting Wondershare Repairit for Desktop.
The benefits of printing in Pantone are too great to pass on. If you want consistent and accurate prints, you need to convert RGB to PMS first. While professionals might prefer all-in-one designer tools for this, enthusiasts might be more comfortable with online converters.
No matter where you belong, you’ll find more than a few options for quick, accurate, and convenient color conversion. And if you need to fix and colorize images, too, there’s a great tool for that as well – Wondershare Repairit Online Photo Colorizer. The right color can transform a dull print.