Coated and Uncoated versions of the same Pantone color, if printed on the right paper, should (approximately) obtain the same perceived color.

So, why does the official Color Finder on the Pantone website use 2 different colors for the 2 variants in the preview box?

Wouldn't it be a more correct approach to use the same preview color for both pages?

  • 1
    If you have ever printed the same image on glossy and regular paper you might understand how things look a bit different based off paper stock so I think that is why they try to make it easier to see what it would look like on different stock Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 14:42

3 Answers 3


A coated Pantone® sample does look different than an uncoated Pantone®. I guess if you'd never seen it in person that this might be hard to imagine. If you can get your hands on an actual color book you'll see why that is.

Edit: I'm going to add this because it might help people understand in more detail Look at the answer by go-junta and the picture provided. How do Pantone coated and uncoated colors relate?

enter image description here

I'm going to quote the last bit of their answer

"Printing on uncoated stock generally requires more ink because the stock is more absorbent. If you have a look at ink sellers, you will notice their ink estimator will give you different results for the same quantity of prints; less ink for coated, more ink for uncoated."

  • So, basically my assumption was wrong 123-C and 123-U are not the same perceived color
    – genna
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 15:08
  • 2
    @genna correct. The same amount of pigment can appear to be a very different color depending on what it's printed on, how it's printed, if any coating goes on top, etc. Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 15:13

Because they do not produce the same measured color.

The aim of your production tool is to simulate what happens on paper. Computers deal with facts so approximately is not the same. Without this info the simulator can not produce an accurate simulation. (wheter or not your monitor can do this is irrelevant. If the system does not have this info then it can not even begin to serve its purpose)



The problem is, that they are actually the same ink, they're just labeled differently so as to afford having a more "accurate" preview, with the assumption being that everyone will always use the correct ink/paper, and that there will never be a need to do a read-across or use two different stocks in a particular job. The correct thing to do would be to have page layout programs which would require one to specify a paper, then simulate overlaying it with ink, and select an RGB representation based on the combination of those two properties.

I miss Cerilica's Truism (which was a page layout app which worked thus).

  • Is this a comment?.I agree but then you would need to measure all inks on all papers, which would be cost prohibitive. But yes you can do paper simulation with profiles if you think the combination is linear.
    – joojaa
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 15:16
  • @WillAdams I understand that that Truism may have been useful at some time 20 years ago. However the Pantone Matching System or PMS is an even older and more prevalent industry standard. PMS is completely unavoidable if you want to work in this industry. Also what you wrote isn't really an answer. It's more of a complaint. I think it should be moved to a comment. I think it was placed as an answer by mistake. Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 16:00
  • Truism was a software program which handled PMS colours in a sensible and logical fashion --- the only one which has. Yes, it's a complaint, but it's ridiculous for people to pretend that PANTONE 301 and PANTONE 301C are different colours based purely on a previewing of how they will appear on whether or no the sheet is coated or uncoated.
    – WillAdams
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 17:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.