Issues with Pantone Colours in InDesign

I have the branding guidelines in PDF format (so viewing on screen) for an organisation with the specific Pantone Colours displayed alongside their code.

Now when I add swatches for these Pantone colours and export as a PDF from InDesgin, the colours are quite far out. Note that I’m viewing both PDFs on the same screen and using Adobe Reader.

Any ideas how to combat this or why this is happening?

The colours are being used in a digital environment at the moment for some website redesign so I could use colour picker software to get the RGB values HOWEVER when we later move onto print work I want to ensure I’m using the Pantones.

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As can be seen in the screenshot, the exported Pantones seem dull and muted compared to the original Brand Guidelines document.


This is applicable to Creative Suite 6 applications only, previous versions of Adobe software will not be effected by this.

Adobe/Pantone felt it was a good idea to include the Pantone+ color books in CS6 applications. The Pantone+ books are built upon LAB values and do not contain CMYK color builds. Previous versions of the software included both LAB and CMYK builds.

You’ll find LAB builds of the Pantone colors in the Pantone+ color books to be far less vibrant on the whole. You can see this in older software versions if you alter the spot color build to LAB rather than the default CMYK build.

Pantone states this “is to better represent color on press”. I find that a bit arguable. In my opinion, Pantone needs to sell things… so every year or two they “reinvent” something which was working fine in order to generate revenue. After all CMYK builds have been in use for, what? 20+ years?

In any respect, you can check THIS LINK at to see how to use older color books, with the traditional CMYK color builds, in Indesign CS6. The page will state it is for Illustrator, but continue reading, it applies to both Illustrator and Indesign CS6.

Source : Link , Question Author : slawrence10 , Answer Author : Scott

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