What is the relation/difference between CMYK, C and CP in Pantone colors?

I’m new to Pantone colors. I read this question before coming here. The answers didn’t have anything I was doubtful about.

In one of the answers I got previously, I read this:

Essentially the C is the actual Pantone coated. The CP version is a
CMYK approximation of the Pantone coated.

I simply don’t understand this.

This statement itself makes me doubt.

Does it mean Pantone C is not a CMYK? CMYK is created from Pantone C by some methods (I would like to know how), so that one can print it.

Also, are the Pantone colors (C) are for reference only? The actual printing the printer does is based on CMYK created from Pantone C?

To support my doubts, here’s another query: Even Google has created their material design CMYK colors. Just like that, Pantone created their own colors by taking buckets of spot color paints and experimenting on real paper/canvas, and defined CMYK for them?


Pantone is a multinational company, like Coca Cola. While this one makes beverages, Pantone manufactures and sells printing inks since 1963.

To sell their inks they created a color chart guide that became one of the most prolific systems based on their printing inks and basic combinations: the PANTONE Matching System®.

  • PANTONE Coated, Uncoated and Matte, offer references of 1,867
    colors in mixing percentages of 18 basic inks more transparent
    white, printed on coated support paper (Pantone C), uncoated (Pantone
    U) and matte (Pantone M) respectively.
  • PANTONE C and U Process are these same colors but in pattern percentages of
    just four-color printing inks: Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black. The
    Pantone Process over a coated paper is the Pantone CP, and over an
    uncoated paper Pantone UP.
  • PANTONE P is an independent guide of 3,000 CMYK colors that bear no relationship to the Pantone Matching System.

There’s an easy way to understand this and it’s the price of their color charts, the Pantone C and U are much more expensive than the Pantone CP and UP. To make the first ones, they must create all possible combinations of inks, 1867 and print on the type of paper, this means 1867 passes on printing rollers. While for process color charts it’s only one printing since the colors are made with halftone patterns using the CMYK four inks.

A few years ago they perfected their inks catalog incorporating the PANTONE Goe system with a range of 2,058 solid colors mixing just 10 base inks plus PANTONE Clear.

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Pantone is not the only company that has printing inks color charts, among others there are the German HKS or the Japanese TOYO Inks.

Source : Link , Question Author : Vikas , Answer Author : Community

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