I am wanting to get a design printed on cotton laminate. Is it possible to get non-pantone colours printed? Everyone I've spoken to so far says yes but then says maybe not. I can't get a straight answer. You help would be much appreciated!

  • What kind of non-pantone colour? Just a straight CMYK mix?
    – e100
    Mar 17, 2012 at 19:30
  • Who are you speaking to? If you're asking print providers they should have a definitive answer.
    – Scott
    Mar 17, 2012 at 20:45
  • This is an apples and oranges question. The post is asking about the substrate (cotton laminate) and about a colour system (non-pantone colours) which is unrelated. This could be put as "Can I print on cotton laminate" and "Can I print non-pantone colours?" That's why it's so hard to get a straight answer. It's not a straight question. OP asks with forked tongue.
    – Stan
    Sep 7, 2013 at 0:45

2 Answers 2


If you choose another colour system

You'll have to speak to your printer about which colours they accept. They may even match to a physical object, paint sample or something else. It's worth noting that in a situation like that, they're probably just going to pull out a Pantone book and match as closely as they can to your sample.

If you choose to use a Pantone colour

Most screen printers will match as closely as possible to a Pantone spot colour if you give them a PMS number. Your printer will be able to give you the best advice though. Please also note that there's quite a few different Pantone colour sets with different uses and intentions.

One of the most common Pantone systems is Pantone Solid Coated & Solid Uncoated systems.

Please also note that different printing methods yield different results. You really will have to talk to whoever's handling the print job for you. If you have a PMS swatch or book with the tear-off blocks, it can be a great idea to show the printer, just to make absolutely sure they match things as well as possible.

  • He's specifically asking about colors that are NOT in the Pantone books. Your data is good, though, and +1 for "talk to whoever's handling the print job for you." In the end, that is the only person whose answer counts. Mar 18, 2012 at 20:03

Printers can print in any color they want. Pantone is merely one particular (and nearly universal) standard for picking said colors. If you pick a PMS color, every printer on the planet will know which color you are talking about.

But they can certainly print in any color you want--but the catch will be how are they going to match the color you want? For a small-ish print job, your best bet would be to show up for a press check. Have them mix the inks with you so you can adjust as desired.

  • First, I think you'd want to show up way before the press check to see dry samples of the ink mix. After the colour ink was ok'd, press proofs would be pulled, and finally the press run after the press proof approval. The other problem is that non-standard ink colours are hard to proof off press. Printers are nervous about making a run prior to an approval. A press check would be mandatory. Depending on the size of the run, this could come at any time of the day. Press time often runs >$500/hr. Better, try a close enough match with what you've got. Ego is expensive.
    – Stan
    Sep 7, 2013 at 0:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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