Adobe Illustrator Tip: Convert CMYK Color to Pantone Colors

Here is a great tutorial for converting colors in your work to Pantone Colors. I often find a set of colors and create a palette for a project.  This is a perfect set of actions to add to your workflow for professional results.  It makes a very simple when a client or printer asks for those numbers when it goes into production.


Flower Design to Recolor

So I begin with my completed design which for this example is a simple floral design.  I always create my elements as symbols which in the long run makes it a snap to adjust colors.

Flower Symbols

Here is my set of symbols that is used in the design.

Selected Artwork

Here I have selected all of the elements without expanding the symbols.

New Group Selected

With all of them selected I choose "New Color Group" at the bottom of the color palette menu.

New Color Group

Save the color group with a unique name and check the "Selected Artwork" and I also check the "Convert Process to Global" and "Include Swatches for Tints."

Swatches Panel

This is what your swatches palette looks like with your new color group. When you select the color group you are now given the option to "Edit Color Group" which is at the bottom of the swatches menu. Click it and you will be taken the the "Recolor Artwork" menu.

Recolor Dialogue Box

When this menu opens I make sure the "Recolor Art" is selected and now I am ready to choose the appropriate color book. This particular menu is very powerful and is a great way to try out different color combinations with your completed artwork.  That is another tip for another day!

Choose Color Book

Here is where you make your choice of Pantone Color Books.  I chose the PANTONE + CMYK Uncoated for this example and saved my changes.

Pantone Results

Now, when I hover over my swatches in my palette you can see that they have all been converted to PMS colors! Wasn't that easy?

Do you regularly work in Photoshop? It is just as easy. If you create a spot color in Illustrator or  InDesign just create a small square of that color and copy and paste it into Photoshop. Use the eyedropper tool to click on the color so it now becomes the foreground color.  Then click on the foreground color and when you select color libraries it will automatically highlight the closest Pantone color. Nice, huh?