[Scribus] Pantone for Scribus

Louis Desjardins louis.desjardins
Mon Jun 11 03:01:03 CEST 2007

2007/6/10, Alexandre Prokoudine <alexandre.prokoudine at gmail.com>:
> On 6/11/07, Le Tigre wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> > Just for telling you that somebody just made a ink collection for
> > Pantone for Scribus.
> >
> > See there (in French):
> > http://www.linuxgraphic.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3745

 I have not much time to translate the post on that site but there is one
sentence that strikes me about Pantone and tests on press... My answers here
tell the questions. (sorry this post is so long in the end...)

1. Pantone is not an ink company.

1 again. Pantone does not sell ink. (or I am totally ignorant of it.)

1. Pantone specifies colors. Pantone sells book with color samples. Pantone
Inc. has established an industry standard by being successful at selling
those sample books throughout the printing planet. Any printer can buy any
inks they want and use the Pantone guide to mix the base colors in order to
get the specified target. And this is what they do. All the time. Otherwise,
there would be an ink monopoly and from what I know, there isn't. Yet.

1a. Pantone Matching System is good only if you print on similar stock as
their guides. If you print on anything that is not white paper (this white),
then forget it, your colors are *never* going to match. I am telling you
this and they are as well, when you read the fine print. A yellowish white,
or a blueish white, or a creamy white... will affect the PMS color no matter
what. This is a physical reality.

2. Nothing prevents any Scribus user to buy such a sample book (and don't
forget the coated and uncoated versions) and create a PMS color and name it
the way they want in their Scribus document, including the way Pantone names
these colors. Nothing. What? You bought the sampler, didn't you? This is
what is important to them.

At least on an offset press, the real result will never ever depend on the
actual name written on the plate but on the "actual ink" that will be in the
foutain on the press.

Where it starts to be a bit more difficult, is when we print on digital
printer that have the Pantone Matching System on-board, thus being able to
reproduce with CMYK toner the so-called "exact" PMS color. I just don't know
the mechanics behind the scene. Is it only the name calling for a specific
"color recipee" within the printer (thus, any document bearing this color
name could call the Printer's rip to interpret correctly the PMS color) or
is it something else buried deeper into the app... ??? I don't know.

Anyway, printing such a specific color on any color printer is nothing but a
close approximation, you can understand why. True spot color can *only* be
reproduced with a specific mix of base colors on press. Digital printing
(cmyk-toner based or 6-7-8 colors ink-jet printers) come close but fails on
many colors, including the metallic colors, the fluorescent colors, and many
others out-of-cmyk gamut colors. These cannot be achieved with cmyk
toner-based printers, no matter how good the sales staff is good at making
you believe this. It simply is impossible and I doubt any vendor watching
this list could step in and send any of us an actual proof of such colors
being reproduceable (not talking about specific high-end proofers here, of
course... I am talking about digital printers). If there are, I am
interested to know more and please call me at the office. Serious. And
please let this list know too! :)

Now, the Pantone issue is something we have to dig but we need to have the
right informations from the start.

I am sure there are workarounds, as I said earlier. Whether Pantone would be
ready to let Scribus use a Pantone librairy ... as GPL'ed? And let the
community find the best way to approximate those colors on-screen? As for
the rest, it would only be important for the app. to send the right name to
the printer? This would mean that the other apps would be able to do the
same... Now, is this a real issue for Scribus users... From my own point of
view, no. But let's pursue the discussion. I am always surprised by this

Please refer to Pantone website for more:

And maybe we should ask Mr. Richard Herbert, Pantone president, to step in
the conversation and let us know what he thinks about the issue. I, for one,
would be very interested in knowing why Scribus users could not use a
Pantone librairy to work with and specify in turn a spot color bearing the
Pantone name? All this, of course, under the GPL?


Let's hope that this somebody isn't flying to USA or has good lawyers  :)
> Alexandre
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