As a graphic designer which Pantone flip book should I purchase? I'm in a unique Master's program that isn't going to be teaching any color or print process, for whatever reason, even though most of us are making career changes and come from very different art backgrounds. My Pantone experience was with fabric. I am posting here because I don't feel my questions have been thoroughly answered in class.

I understand the Bridge is the best, as it gives all options for process and screen color but what is the difference between coated and uncoated? Please advise on anything I should know that will help me get optimal prints or screen color.

2 Answers 2


The formulations of the Pantone inks, and the CMYK equivalents, are exactly the same for the Coated and Uncoated books. They publish the two types of book so that designers can get a feel for the difference in appearance when the target substrate will be one or the other. The actual color is the same, however. Printing is more often on coated stock than uncoated, so if your budget only stretches to one book, get the Coated.

The Color Bridge is helpful for comparing Pantone solid colors (ink mixtures) with their closest (according to Pantone) CMYK equivalent, so it's probably the most versatile for use while you're studying. You don't get all the solid colors, but you get plenty. These books also provide RGB and HTML (hex) color values for each swatch.


I will add that coated appears slightly richer in color due to the stock coating where as the uncoated is a matte finish. This may not have been obvious if you've never seen them side by side.

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