Thursday, October 14, 2010

Paint and PMS

Today I have a great tip for my fellow graphic designers (especially those who work with clients that are far away, are difficult to schedule meetings with, or are particularly picky about color). It is a simple concept that could be used in many ways but I have used it mostly for matching colors my clients have selected for their wedding.

When starting a project, one of the questions I always ask is if there is a color palette chosen or considered for the project. Either answer I receive, yes or no, I ask my clients to visit any home improvement store and select paint swatches that are the closest to what they have in mind. After they have done this, they tell me the store, brand, and color so I can find the same swatches. Paint companies tire over making sure their swatches match their paint colors accurately, therefore, the swatches should be the same from store to store. After locating the swatches, I use my PMS swatch book (a catalog of premixed ink colors) to match the paint swatches my client has chosen.

Recently my client chose paint colors from Lowe's Valspar collection, which have a really convenient window that is handy to locate the most precise equivalent. The photo below may appear to match...

but close up, you can see that it is still slightly off.

As much as I consider myself a genius for thinking of this method, I'm sure I'm not the only one who uses it. Anyone else use paint swatches in their job or see another way to use them to improve their work process?

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