Finding Pantone Color Codes

Before this year I worked mainly in digital design, but now I do a lot of print design work too and it’s an entirely different game. Typically a designer (or the client) will come up with a particular color palette that they want to use for their brand, which is fine, but a lot of times it’s impossible to find an exact match in Pantone colors when it’s time to print items, and that can be a huge headache. No one wants to change colors when a design is on it’s last leg.

Now days I pull Pantone colors pre-project so that I’m prepared ahead of time and don’t end up with a color that looks different in print than online, it saves A LOT time, but sometimes a brand will already have colors they’re using or have a particular set in mind and you just have to go from there. At first I was mulling over the Pantone swatches for hours trying to pair up the color, then I found a website where I could just add the hex code and it would pull the shade closest, but unfortunately I never found that the colors were correct or even close, so I didn’t use it and went back to pulling them from the swatches.

However, something amazing happened! I figured out that in a Photoshop update they have a tool in the color picker area that actually will pull the Pantone color for it (and it’s almost exact). I’ve tried the ones in Illustrator and InDesign and never cared for them, but this Photoshop one is the real deal. So here’s what you do to pull the Pantone color right inside your Photoshop.

1. Open the color picker tool, and select the color you want to use.

2. On the right side of the open tool, select color libraries. The Pantone shade will be highlighted with the appropriate color name too.

And that’s all, it’s totally something worth mentioning to save you all the time that I wasted trying to find them in an easier way. Good-luck and I hope your print designs look as fabulous as your digital do.

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