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This is an identity designed by Pentagram. The blue used here is not a CMYK color. How do use such colors in your branding when there is print involved ?

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    Not CMYK can mean 2 things: That it is a spot color (panatone color or other such thing like say RAL) or that its RGB. But basically you need to specify 3 colors, one for spot colors, one for RGB and one for CMYK. Remember choosing a CMYK color is a cost saving measure, if your client can not afford to print in your color they will just ignore your guide.
    – joojaa
    Jun 11, 2018 at 17:05
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1 Answer 1


Most branding use Pantone colors along CMYK and RGB colors. PMS (Pantone Matching System) allows for more precision in the reproduction of colors by using 10 different inks (as opposed to 4 for CMYK).

These colors are usually documented in a branding style guide. In the case of Expedia, you can find the blue on page 20 and its recommended values in various systems:

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Sometimes numbers for PMS C (Coated) and PMS U (Uncoated) may vary and you will need to pick the ink with regards to the type of paper that will be used.

Pantone colors are available in design software (though sometimes a bit buried), so that you can fetch the exact color you need to use if creating a piece for this brand.

Some brands even use trademarked Pantone colors. For example Tiffany worked with Pantone to design their very own Tiffany Blue.

  • What standard does the RGB and CMYK adhere to?
    – joojaa
    Jun 11, 2018 at 17:07
  • @joojaa I'm not sure what you are asking specifically?
    – curious
    Jun 11, 2018 at 17:11
  • It’s worth adding that major, global brands would never use Pantone references if they know what they are doing. Even Pantone advise against it now. Professional brand managers use custom colour specifications based on Lab or spectral data to control the colour of their products, marketing materials and packaging.
    – Westside
    Jun 11, 2018 at 18:33
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    @Emilie RGB numbers, hex numbers and cmyk percentages dont mean anything if you do not include what color profile they adhere to. Its a common mistake, and often omitted but its still wrong. So is the RGB: sRGB, ProPhoto, Adobe RGB ditto for CMYK is it SWOP, GraCol, FOGRA...
    – joojaa
    Jun 11, 2018 at 18:51
  • @Westside yes because Lab is actually same no matter what. As for spectral colors that is a bit of overkill though having some very weird metamer in spectral could be nice.
    – joojaa
    Jun 11, 2018 at 18:54

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