Pantone to CMYK conversion is always a pain to deal with, but does anyone have experience with coming up with the closest CMYK conversion of Pantone 021C?

According to Pantone website the CMYK value is 0 65 100 0, but that seems not too accurate: https://www.pantone.com/color-finder/Orange-021-C



  • 2
    You can not get the panatone color. The conversion of colors is way more complicated than this so saying 0 65 100 0 means nothing without knowing what calibration standard you adhere to. And it would also be nice to know what transformation intent was used for the conversion.
    – joojaa
    Jun 19, 2016 at 7:15

2 Answers 2


One of the main benefits of using Pantone colors is that you can use colors that simply don't exist with a standard CMYK process.

You say the values don't seem accurate but remember what you see on your screen and what will print is rarely going to be the same. Take in to account calibration issues, different color profiles, differences in paper and things can quickly look "off". Start with the values Pantone give you, run a test print and adjust if you need to.

Pantone is a company purely focused on color matching. They spend a lot of time and resources on making their colors and conversions as accurate as possible. The CMYK values Pantone supply are probably the best you are going to get without doing test prints for your specific case. And keep in mind that theres a high chance you'll never get the color you want.

All of that being said, if it looks "off", try bumping up the Magenta 5-10%, but that is nothing more than guess-work and speculation since I have no idea what your output looks like

  • Thank you for the respond. I'm going to test print the color and see how it looks, and I will play around with variations in the Magenta.
    – user69879
    Jun 19, 2016 at 19:25

Pantone sells a swatchbook called the "Pantone Process Color Imaging Guide 1000"

It has color chips for many of the Pantone colors and next to them, a chip showing the Pantone-recommended CMYK equivalent. Or equivalent du jour ... they seem to change from time to time. As it happens, their sample of Orange 021 C is not at all a good match for the CMYK "equivalent".

The swatchbook runs about US$50 on Amazon; a bit stiff for the occasional use, but you might check with your printer; they probably have one around and might be willing to read the CMYK equivalents for a couple colors to you.

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