Converting to PMS from CMYK

I don't know quite where to start on this story. I got a call the other day from Ohio, which is unusual in itself, because I don't know anyone there. It turned out that the Ohio Pet Fund was looking for a new design for their license plate, and needed someone to convert a drawing into Illustrator. Since I had written about how I had learned Illustrator early on, and had posted the say, she found me.

And, it probably would have been enough to write about that, how amazing that is, but there is more. I did the design, first with gradations, but then I started looking at license plates (which seemed odd to my brother and his family whom I was visiting for the weekend, and noticed that there weren't really gradations there. So, I redid it, taking samples of the colors and drawing what I saw.

She loved it but…, and there is always a but, she wanted it not in CMYK but in PMS (Pantone Matching System) colors. 

So I Googled  how to convert, but most people had no answer. They kept talking about PMS to CMYK (which is super easy), but no one was writing about how to do the opposite. I went through three or so pages until I sound this great little java script that you can drop into your illustrator scripts.  The page is called John's Scripts for Illustrator and has a whole bunch, including the one I was looking for.

Now granted, it isn't automatic. What it does is analyzed the CMYK colors and then makes a suggestions for a match, which you have to decide on. It would be nice if it were automatic, sort of like a filter, but hey, it saved me starting and starring at the screen and trying to guess which pms was closest.

Ah, the power of the web.

Of as my 14 year old daughter likes to say 'What did you do on computers before the Internet?"

One Response to “Converting to PMS from CMYK”

Leave a Reply