How to Find Pantone Color in Illustrator

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Your first step is to locate the Pantone color books within the software.
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Adobe Illustrator is arguably one of the most powerful image creation software applications available on the market today. As part of the Creative Suite offered by Adobe, Illustrator acts as a unique and valuable complement to the tools included in Photoshop, yet another extremely popular application that can be found in virtually all graphic design studios today.


When designing images in Illustrator, you can use the onboard color selection tools to find a variety of unique creative options. If you are hoping to use a Pantone color search tool in Illustrator, you can find this specific resource using a few relatively straightforward steps.

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Whether you are trying to update Pantone swatches in Illustrator or are simply looking to do a Pantone color search, your first step is to locate the Pantone color books within the software. You can access these options by first navigating to the Swatches menu within the software application.

The Basics of Pantone Color

For visual art professionals, the ability to quickly locate and match colors is absolutely indispensable. Instead of a time-consuming trial and error approach to color matching, specific systems have been invented in order to provide a significantly more quantifiable approach to color selection. Not only does this save a significant amount of time over the long term, but it also helps ensure that creative products do not suffer from inconsistent color matching.


The Pantone Color Matching System, or Pantone CMS, is one such method for organizing and reproducing colors. Using 13 base pigments, the Pantone CMS includes 1,114 distinctive spot colors. A spot color can be defined as a color that is printed using a combination of inks in a single run rather than a series of prints.


Compared to the industry-standard CMYK system, which uses four base pigments, Pantone is capable of recreating a significantly larger number of unique colors. With that in mind, Pantone helps expand the creative toolkit of visual arts professionals and paves the way for the creation of signature, one-of-a-kind color profiles.


Locating Pantone in Illustrator

You can benefit from using the Pantone Color Manager in Illustrator if your current project relies on this specific framework. In order to locate the Pantone CMS, first click the "Window" menu, followed by the "Swatches" option. Next, click the "Open Swatch Library" option, followed by the "Color Books" selection. At this point, you should be given access to a variety of Pantone color books. Feel free to browse the available options and determine which specific color book best matches your project.


Once you have made your decision, you can load the Pantone color book and begin integrating these unique colors into your project.

As you traverse the specific Pantone color book you have selected, you have the option to identify and save specific colors into your swatch collection. This is arguably the most efficient method for sourcing colors and ensuring that your artwork remains visually consistent with respect to your color selections. Your swatch collection can shrink and expand in keeping with your particular needs at any given time.


For some designers, creating a specific Pantone swatch collection prior to beginning the visual design process helps enforce a series of constraints within the project which, ultimately, will yield improved creative results and more cohesive aesthetic designs. Whatever your specific preferences are, however, you can configure within Illustrator's swatch tool