CMYK vs Pantone – How to Select the Best Color Model for Printing Your Cigar Packaging Project
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CMYK vs Pantone – How to Select the Best Color Model for Printing Your Cigar Packaging Project

CMYK vs Pantone – How to Select the Best Color Model for Printing Your Cigar Packaging Project

In this post, we’ll explain the difference between CMYK and Pantone colors using a Pantone Solid Coated Color Guide. CMYK and Pantone colors are the standard types of inks used today by commercial printers. We’ll get into how these two color matching systems affect the printing of your cigar bands and the rest of your cigar packaging.

So what is a CMYK color model? This is very similar to the inks you have inside your home printer right now. CMYK refers to the set of (4) ink plates a commercial printer uses to accurately reproduce images and photographs. These are Cyan ( C ), Magenta ( M ), Yellow ( Y ) and Black ( K ). And while CMYK inks do a great job overall, there are always slight variations that affect color reproduction. You’ve seen those funky home printouts you get from time-to-time, one of the ink cartridges may be running low, or maybe one of the print heads is dirty and clogged. All of these factors affect print quality.

So in what situation is CMYK color printing ok to use? I would say any time you are trying to reproduce a photograph or a painting to be used as part of your cigar packaging. A great example would be a painting depicting Christopher Columbus landing in the New World in 1492. This image was effectively used in AJ Fernandez’s New World cigar packaging and serves as a backdrop and focal point to the cigar band and box lid artwork.

So what is the Pantone color model? The Pantone color model is a universal language of color that enables color-critical decisions to be made by both brands and manufacturers. And although there are several of these guides, today we’ll focus on the Pantone Solid Coated guide, which is the most commonly used. Here you will find a wide range of colors and each one of them has a unique reference number which makes it easy to identify. This is part of a standardized color matching system – so you can potentially have more than one printer, in different parts of the world and still accurately reproduce a specific Pantone color.

So in what situation is Pantone color printing ok to use? Anytime you want to reproduce vibrant colors. In our last video, we covered cigar sampler packs and featured Azan Cigars vibrant orange sampler – This project called for Pantone Orange 021 – this color as you can see in the graphic, cannot be reproduced in the CMYK color model. This is a perfect example of when using Pantone colors is appropriate. I’ll put a link up above so you can check out the other samplers that use both CMYK and PMS colors.

Whether you have multiple printers or not, I recommend you invest in a Pantone color guide. It could make your life easier when discussing colors with your designer and/or printer. More often than not, client, designer and printer are always in different locations – so it helps tremendously having one of these guides. Not to mention, avoiding color mistakes on your cigar packaging.

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