i'm thinking to start working on a t-shirt contest, but i'm not sure yet. The client wants a Gold Versace Baroque Design Style shirt (See example attached).

enter image description here

I don't have the pantone book and i'm looking on line for suggestions on which is the bets Gold Metallic Pantone Colour for printing. So far i found 2 Gold Pantone Colours (see files attached), but the 4485c i can't find it in the Pantone books the other it looks bad (i don't know if ti depends from my screen calibration or the pantone colour 871 C that appear too dark and dull)

enter image description here enter image description here

If anybody has experience on doing print work with this type of colour it would be great to get a suggestion and tell me a specific pantone code for Gold Metallic Pantone colour. I looked in illustrator in Colour Books, Pantone + Metallic Coated but i didn't find anything that look good on the screen.

Another concern is if the printer doesn't have the gold i choose i guess i'll have to ask them to pick the closest colour in the gold metallic pantone..

I never done a job with this type of pantone and i read form other users in different forums/posts that they had horrendous results because they used the CMYK gold. I know isn't possible to use it as the type of colour is a combination of gold yellow-orange so a particular colour that can be achieved only if is used the metallic pantone colour.

Obviously i'm not going to use shadows/gradients, just the pantone colour as i don't want to risk an horrendous result when printing.

Ultimately i'd like to know how can i get the same or similar result of the shirt image i attached above. Is enough to use a metallic gold colour or i need to use other effects or colour combination to achieve that result in illustrator? Please keep your answer as simple as possible as i'm not an expert of printing :)

Thanks for your support!

  • 2
    That particular t-shirt doesn't appear to use metallic inks to me. It just looks like CMYK yellows / oranges / browns with highlights to indicate gold. (Obviously I could be wrong :) )
    – Scott
    May 2, 2017 at 17:30

2 Answers 2


You will not find an accurate representation of Metallic Gold, Gold Shimmer, or Gold Flake Ink in the Pantone books. If you want the screenprint to literally look like Metallic Gold or Gold shimmer, on the garment, the screen printer will have to use Metallic Gold ink or Gold Shimmer ink.

Most major plastisol ink companies do provide these products. Basically what you need to do is just create your design using any flat gold color from your Pantone book, and rename that color channel or swatch to “Metallic Gold”. When you give the artwork to the screen printer, make sure you specifically tell him you want to use metallic gold ink. Most screen printers have this ink in stock.

You also mentioned not using gradients or halftones… the image you provided contains all sorts of gradients half tones and highlights. Without these design elements this is how the image would look..

enter image description here

Not very impressive LOL.

Go ahead and create your design with proper highlights and shadows and such. I would have no problem creating the appropriate separations for you to give to your screen printer. If you would like me to do that for you, just make sure you create your design at the actual print size you want and if it will not be vector artwork, make sure the file is 300 dpi

  • 1
    ..loving that shirt, where can I buy it?! :) May 2, 2017 at 18:07
  • Thanks, great help with the "Metallic Gold" about the separation, i've done it once for my last apparel job, so i think i know what to do. I could post the screenshot of the separation just for a double check. I have doubts about making shadow using gradients. I know by experience that issues may appear when printing on paper i.e. the colour in the shadow part looks blocky like different blocks of black colours put together but with without blending. I don't have experience on apparel print except my last job where i used 1 pantone colour for design & print so a fairly straight forward work. May 2, 2017 at 21:25
  • I'll decide tomorrow if i'll join the context. I need to do more research to see if i can find more infos about printing design with gradients on apparel. I think is quite complex the issue, i'm not sure at all. It's a situation where the margin of error it could become potential high if not managed well from both designer & printer. Anyway thanks a lot for your tips your support is great! May 2, 2017 at 21:26
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    I've been in the screen printing industry for over 25 years. There is an art to being able to print half tones successfully. 90% of the challenge is in the artwork and separations. This is what I do for a living. On my profile page I added an email address if you want to send me your art file with half tones and highlights. Honestly if your screen printer cannot successfully print half tones then my advice would be to find a new screen printer.
    – wch1zpink
    May 2, 2017 at 21:41
  • I'll take some time to think this morning but in case i decide to join in the project and i win the award i'll most probably send you the separations to be safe that the shadowing is done properly using the gradients and the colours are ok. It's crucial to have the artwork ready with all info in a note for the printer so that i avoid any misunderstanding after printing! I'll contact you after the end of the contest for the separation if i win the award. Thanks for your support May 3, 2017 at 7:05

Ok, so first thing first. Pantone is almost never used for printing on other materials than paper. Even Pantone will tell you to get new sample book every year because "the color change". And it only show how this pantone will look on THIS particular paper. On a fabric it would be totally different thing.

Second thing. Almost all "coated/lacquered" things on fabrics I've seen were made by ironing them on (so the paint is not infused into fabric). The fabric make everything look matt because that how's fabric works.

Third thing. The example you provided is only 3 colors. Black on top of yellow on top of white. That's all.

  • 1
    This comment is inaccurate. Pantone is used as a reference to print in all sorts of materials. For example, The whole packaging industry (in North America) uses Pantone as a standard to print in all sorts of substrates (plastic, metal, etc).
    – cockypup
    May 2, 2017 at 15:45

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