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Is There a Pantone-to-PMS Color Converter?

Eleanor Reed
Eleanor Reed Originally published Jan 10, 24, updated Jan 26, 24
a color palette

The sheer number of online color converters can overwhelm you when searching for proper tools. However, although many exist, only some offer what you need.

To find a color converter, you first need to know what color systems exist and which ones you want to convert.

That begs the question: is there a Pantone-to-PMS color converter and vice versa? Let’s find out.

In this article
    1. Color Identification
    2. Color Libraries
    3. Color Mixing System
    4. Consistency
    5. Color Reproduction
    1. Graphic Design Software
    2. Online Color Conversion Tools
    3. Pantone Color Bridge Guides
    4. Pantone Studio App
    5. Pantone Connect
    1. Cost
    2. Accuracy
    3. Workflow Integration

Are Pantone and PMS the Same?

Although they are different, many often use Pantone and PMS interchangeably. Why is that?

While Pantone is a company, PMS (Pantone Matching System) is a color system by Pantone. When discussing Pantone, people often refer to the Pantone Matching System rather than the company itself.

With that in mind, you can see how searching for a Pantone-to-PMS converter won’t prove effective. However, a decent amount of converters out there can translate PMS colors into other systems.

Before proceeding, you first must understand the Pantone Color System.

Explaining the Pantone Color System

The Pantone Color System (Pantone Matching System) is a standardized color matching system. It applies in various industries to ensure color consistency across materials, including graphic design, fashion, product design like cosmetics, and interior design.

How does it do it? Here’s your answer.

1.Color Identification

Every color in the Pantone Color System has a unique identification code (“PMS number” or “Pantone color code” ), a combination of letters and numbers. That makes finding a color within a library quick and straightforward.

2.Color Libraries

pantone libraries

Pantone has created several color libraries for different uses. The most popular libraries are probably Pantone Solid Coated and Pantone Solid Uncoated.

3.Color Mixing System

PMS includes process and solid colors.

Process colors consist of a limited number of inks mixed in various ratios, producing many colors. As of today, Pantone has 6,732 process colors.

process color format chart

However, solid colors are the way to go when color accuracy is the priority. These colors are born through solid color printing (spot printing), which involves creating and printing a unique color. Pantone has 3,026 solid colors.

solid color format chart

4.Consistency

A definite point of pride for the Pantone brand would have to be consistency.

Pantone will ensure you have the correct color formulations to replicate with different inks or pigments, whether you’re dealing with print, digital colors, or textiles.

5.Color Reproduction

Printers use Pantone colors to reference desired hues. They follow Pantone formulation instructions when mixing ink, thus reproducing the exact color specified with the PMS number.

Types of Pantone Converters You Can Use With Different Color Systems

When dealing with colors, you’ll often need to convert them from one system to another.

Therefore, find adequate PMS converters to translate colors from Pantone to RGB, CMYK, and other color spaces to achieve that.

Graphic Design Software

Most graphic design solutions let you apply Pantone colors and have built-in conversion tools that help you shift between PMS and other color models.

For example, Adobe Photoshop has an Adobe Color Picker, which lets you pick Pantone colors and get their RGB or CMYK counterparts.

Some of the best graphic design software solutions that come in handy when converting Pantone colors include:

  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • CorelDRAW
  • GIMP
  • Affinity Designer

Online Color Conversion Tools

Online color conversion tools offer a quick and straightforward way to convert other color systems to PMS and vice versa. You can do it with:

  • Adobe Color Wheel
  • CMYK to Pantone Converter
  • RGB to Pantone Converter
  • Pantone Color Finder (available on Pantone Connect)

Pantone Color Bridge Guides

As the name suggests, Pantone Color Bridge Guides connect Pantone solid colors and their RGB, CMYK, and hex counterparts.

The Bridge Guides include various Pantone solid colors, recognizable through their ID.

They compare each Pantone Solid color with CMYK, RGB, and hex colors, allowing users to visually compare them and refer to the other color system values that resemble Pantone.

Pantone Studio App

The Pantone Studio App lets you create three-dimensional design patterns on your mobile device. In addition, you can take a photo and build a custom palette using the app’s Color Picker feature.

As for conversion tools within the app, it supports sRGB, hex, and CMYK conversion.

Pantone Connect

Available on mobile devices and browsers and as an Adobe Extension, Pantone Connect has a user-friendly interface that provides users with valuable features.

Besides the Pick, Extract, and Measure features, Pantone Connect has a Convert option. The conversion is from sRGB, LAB, hex, and CMYK to Pantone. It will produce an equivalent color within PMS or the “Best Match” available.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your PMS Converter

Here are the most crucial factors to consider before choosing the best PMS converter for your needs and preferences.

Cost

counting money

When choosing your PMS converter, determine how much money you will spend to get the desired tool. Some converters operate through subscriptions, while you can purchase others.

Depending on the converter, some features are free, while others require a subscription or one-time purchase.

For instance, until last year, Adobe supported complementary Pantone colors in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Unfortunately, you must now pay a monthly Pantone subscription to use its colors in Adobe applications.

So, before opting for a converter, consider your budget and weigh out the capabilities of a PMS converter and its cost.

Accuracy

accurate pantone color representation

It bears repeating that accuracy is the primary concern you should have when deciding on a converter.

If accurate and consistent color representation wasn’t necessary, why even go through all those converters when you can eyeball the colors independently?

Therefore, ensure that the colors represented through conversion closely, if not identically, match the Pantone colors.

Companies with specific Pantone colors associated with their brands want as accurate converters as possible to preserve their brand identity through their defining color palette.

Accuracy also comes into play when dealing with a client who has requested a Pantone color, which you will have to convert accurately to meet their expectations.

Workflow Integration

working on a computer

Another critical aspect of PMS converters to consider is how they impact the quality and efficiency of the design flow.

Besides picking an overall well-designed converter, you must choose one compatible with your projects.

Your chosen converter should support and enhance your workflow rather than disrupt or stagger it. Picking an integrated PMS converter will save you significant time in the long term since you won’t constantly switch between programs and applications. It will also streamline transferring color data.

How to Quickly Colorize Images

If you regularly work with digital images, design, and illustration software, you might want to consider adding another card up your sleeve.

Converting color systems won’t get you too far if you’re dealing with black-and-white images.

Whether you have a scanned old photo or a plain, black-and-white image, Wondershare Repairit Online Photo Colorizer will bring some life back into those bleak pictures.

before-and-after colorizer

The best part about the Repairit Online Photo Colorizer is that it can add color and repair scratches on an image. Let’s not forget it’s incredibly straightforward to use. You simply upload your picture, start the colorization, and view and download your repaired image! Upload image to photo colorizer

Wondershare Repairit Online Photo Colorizer supports JPEG, PNG, BMP, PNG, and WebP formats. It offers 2 options:

  • Repairit Online Free provides 3 chances of AI enhancing
  • Repairit Online Premium: yearly plan for $4.08 per month

So, check it out, and bring some color back to those pictures!

Conclusion

Finding a proper PMS converter will ensure you always have the exact colors you need for your work, projects, or personal use.

The multitude of Pantone to RGB and CMYK (and vice versa) converters have made inconsistency a thing of the past.

Whether you’re choosing between an online converter and one that is part of designing software, you can rest assured that it will meet your needs.

Other design and photo editing tools, such as Wondershare Repairit Online Photo Colorizer, will come to your assistance when you need to bring those colors back before converting them.

As long as you know what you need, your Pantone converter won’t fail you!

Eleanor Reed
Eleanor Reed Jan 26, 24
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