Customer gave this:
Our PMS color is: RGB# 35586e / CMYK 84-59-40-20

But, I need to print 8,000 sheets in a spot color for their logo.

My Pantone book doesn’t have these numbers.

It a grey blue color. The ink company told me their need the PMS color not the CYMK %.

Any know the PMS color?

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I went online and plugged in the CMYK values and came up with 7 possible PMS matches. My guess is that none of these matches will be exact.

It might be wise to go back to the client and ask if he has the Pantone number in his files. Or, maybe the client can provide the name of the graphic designer and that person can give up the PMS number. If this does not work, perhaps the client can give you a printed sample.

Either way, I would not print this job without getting that Pantone number!

Go to and enter your CMYK values to see close pantone equivalents. Show the choices to the customer and get them to sign off on the Pantone color. Make them understand that the printed color may vary with paper choice, given that the ink is translucent and the paper color will show through. Use the considerable experience that you claim to have when deciding if you really want to take this job.

If the client doesn’t supply you with the proper information, then you need to go back to the client to get it. The numbers they gave you are not PMS colors, they are video and CMYK color formulas. Don’t guess.

I you type in cmyk to pantone in Google, you will get the sites that convert. Although, there is always several pms numbers as close posibles. You can also get a conversion for rgb to pantone.
Been printing since 1959 and ever since the invention of the desktop computer, this has been a problem.

The key response here is from Jonsel. The most important thing to the customer is that they get what they want. They gave you the wrong type of information, because they didn’t know what kind of information you need. To insure the client gets what they’re looking for, go back to them and ask them to supply you with the PMS number. They may give you permission to come as close as you can, and that’s fine, as long as their expectations are managed correctly if its not an exact match.

I’ve never had a client spec CMYK unless we are running an offset job. I agree that you should check with the customer,

I have had clients that have proprietary colors, but they always tell us who we can order the ink from.

Good luck,


Before I retired, my company, and the prepress house that handled our art and plates (for flexo), would not accept anything but a PMS number because, as the posters above have said, the other systems do not provide an exact match.

If the customer cannot provide a PMS number, my advice would be to either 1) have them furnish a swatch or printed sample of a fairly large solid area, or 2) have them at the first press run to sign off on the color. (If you do that, DO NOT have them in the pressroom. Keep them in the front office and bring samples out to them).

So true about not having customers in the pressroom. Always a bad mix. Before opening our family business I worked at NY Magazine. I used to fly up to Buffalo NY to OK the press run every 3rd week, or sooner since I was a junior production guy. They always kept us in the customer room. We did have breaks between forms for a few beers & wings!

Never good having clients wandering in a pressroom.

Also keep in mind that all individuals see color differently. Also the type of lighting that the color is viewed in makes a big difference. But first of all get the PMS number.