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CMYK swatches?

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#1
AndyM

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In the last place I worked I occasionally used one of two sets of CMYK swatches, one on coated "paper" (actually light card stock) and the other one uncoated. I'm pretty sure they weren't Pantone swatches, they were organized in terms of CMYK values. Now I want to buy a set of these swatches and all I can find are Pantone swatches -- and they are expensive and very poorly reviewed.

Anyone know where I can buy process color swatches?

#2
Dennis McClendon

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These used to be popular promotional swag from big process printing houses—though of course no two were ever exactly the same.  In the 1990s I invested in the Trumatch fanbook for CMYK combos, but a couple of years later decided the Pantone CMYK fanbook seemed to better match my results.

 

Chronicle Books has one that I suppose is a natural sequel to their little Designers Guide to Color volumes.  Amazon's page lists a number of alternatives.  Of course, it's important to get a book that matches the standard colors used in your part of the world.  If you mostly print at USA printers, don't buy a guide that uses the Asian standard web inks.

 

I want to clarify that we're not talking about the Pantone Color Formula Guide (with the three- and four-digit Pantone numbers) that is for specifying pigmented color inks.  We're talking about books showing the results of various CMYK combinations.  I find it depressing how many graphic designers I work with who don't seem to understand the difference.


Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#3
AndyM

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Thanks Dennis, yes, I was talking about CMYK swatches, and I had forgotten the name -- Trumatch. I looked long and hard on Google, and without the brand name all I could get is Pantone products. was considering getting a set (they seem to make a true CMYK fab book) but was put off when I read the reviews on Pantone's own site, people are really upset at the recent decline in quality ("printed on text-weight paper ...") Did you buy yours before that? I'm interested in your take on the ones you bought.

Some people gave good reviews for the book format but I like to be able to lay out particular swatches next to each other.

The only source I can see now for the Trumatch swatches is Amazon, who are selling ones "published" in 2008. Would you have any reservations about buying an unused six year old set?

#4
Dennis McClendon

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I wouldn't worry unduly about the publication date—but of course I'm still using a 20-year-old fanbook.  To be honest, I'm not even sure where it is right now.  I've gotten in the bad habit of just mixing colors onscreen, as so little of my work ever gets to a real printing press.


Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#5
AndyM

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Thanks for the advice, Dennis.

 

Andy



#6
AndyM

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As I mentioned in November, after a serious search I couldn't find TruMatch swatches to buy, except the 2008 set from Amazon.  Last week I checked again, and immediately came up with this link. 

http://www.trumatch.com/products.html

 

I've ordered a set.






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