Hex to Pantone

By May 1, 2014Design, How To

As a designer I’m often finding myself dealing with color.  I say dealing because it’s a big deal if it doesn’t match when printed and it feels like you have to make a deal with your computer just to make this happen.  This post isn’t about getting around all of the hassle, but instead it’s converting from Hex to Pantone.

I have a number of clients that would like to take their existing website and get things ready for print including new logos, business cards, letterhead, flyers, posters, banners, billboards, etc.  The challenge is that all I have to go from is their website.  Most clients do not have an official style guide or the original design files so I’m left to my own devices.

Getting the Hex value

The first task is getting the Hex value of the color on screen.  I use my favorite OS X app Sip to grab the Hex value.  Buy this if you work with Hex values in any way.


Using Hex to Get the Pantone Color

Use a website. I just stumbled upon RGB.to that converts a color value to all other forms.  So putting in my Hex value gets me RGB, HSL, HSB, CMYK, CSS.  Most importantly, it gives me some Pantone options that most closely resemble the Hex value.

Historically I used Ginifab’s tool, but I think I may be replacing it with RGB.to.

Why is Pantone Important?

Color matching.  You’ll be able to ensure your colors match what you expect.  There is a caveat here that your monitor colors need to be set correctly to make the match accurate, but I’m not going to get into that right now.

Happy matching.