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I am pretty new to the Pantone Matching System and I understand the difference between C (coated) and U (uncoated).

Now my question: What should I use when I only need it on the screen? (no print, just for websites)

In all the brand guidelines, the companies (of course) only pick the color name (without appended C or U).

But what would be the workflow for web-only (rgb) stuff?

I have my Pantone Color Bridge and I need the hex/rgb value. Which one should I pick for screen-only stuff?

Thanks for your answers!

EDIT: For clearer understanding: I want to create my own guideline for a web project which only uses its colors on screens (rgb). And for that: Should I use coated or uncoated? Or: Does coated or uncoated colors better match the characteristics of a screen?

  • Ideally, a brand guideline would specify the RGB value to use. Are you sure that's not included? – JohnB Nov 22 '15 at 17:00
  • Yes they often are. I checked some brand guidelines just for finding an answer to my question: For screen-only: coated or uncoated? It is not that I need to use a brand guide. – Steve Osten Nov 22 '15 at 17:09
  • Theres no direct correlation between many pantone colors and rgb. the brand guide originator is supposed to visually inspect the rgb choice and pick the one that suits best. Even if its not the pantone guide one. Besides consumers have notoriouly badly calibrated devices its not like they can actually reproduce the color you pick. Its certainly left up to the gods of miscalibration. Neither uncoated or coated better match the screen. But coated is usually more saturated. – joojaa Nov 22 '15 at 22:33
  • To be clear, you don't spec Pantone colors for screen usage. Pantone specifications are only for printing spot colors. – DA01 Nov 23 '15 at 17:19
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Color Bridge gives you the RGB values for both coated and uncoated. Coated means for coated paper which can display brighter, more saturated colors (as joojaa already wrote). Uncoated paper lets the color soak into the paper, so the colors appear less bright, a bit more organic. It depends on your design, what would be the better match.

Defining a Pantone value only makes sense if someone needs to print your designs. That's what brand guides include it for. For screen only RGB is really all you need.

  • Thanks for your reply! So there isn't any rule to use Coated for screen (because it has the most advantages for screen-use)? It is just a matter of preference? What are some other characteristics of coated/uncoated that could be interesting for people to decide weather they should use Coated or Uncoated for web designs? – Steve Osten Nov 23 '15 at 17:55
  • Pantone is only useful if color values have to be matched across different media, like packaging, t-shirts, brochures and so on. It helps to adjust colors with a common color scale. Eg. if you want to match an existing, printed company logo to your screen color, and you know the Pantone Value (Coated or Uncoated) Pantone Bridge can help you to find the right RGB value. If you design only for the digital domain this is neither required nor helpful as RGB is all you need to exactly match colors. – AAGD Nov 23 '15 at 18:08
  • Ok. If in this example I want to match a printed logo (printed on coated e.g.), I need to use the coated color version on screen? Is it that simple? Or is it like: Ok: I know the Pantone color of the logo, so need to compare the coated and uncoated variant of that color on screen to see how it best matches the printed one? I am somewhat confused. It seems that there isn't any strict rule whether I need to use coated or uncoated? – Steve Osten Nov 23 '15 at 23:22
  • Yes, it's that simple. But if the logo isn't printed with a Pantone spot color, it will - most of the time - only be an approximation to the actual color. So I'd see Pantone more as a guide or helper than a fixed rule. – AAGD Nov 24 '15 at 8:54

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