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Broadcast Safe Pantone Colors? (gray)

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Andrew Aviles
Broadcast Safe Pantone Colors? (gray)
on Apr 21, 2015 at 7:52:08 pm

Hello, I am new to creative cow but I am stumped on this issue. Most broadcast studios are familiar with "Color Safe Whites" and there are some resources on producing broadcast safe colors in post production, but I need to give my manager a Pantone color code because he wants to paint the set a Broadcast Safe Gray instead of white.

Any idea of how I can find this? I cant find any resources online, thinking of finding some grays in Photoshops pantone color library, and doing some kind of "broadcast safe" filter on it, and seeing which pantone color is closest.


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Bill Stephan
Re: Broadcast Safe Pantone Colors? (gray)
on Apr 22, 2015 at 5:53:47 pm

Hi Andrew,

Because broadcast cameras are balanced using a chip chart with swatches from pure black to pure white, you could actually paint your set black, white or anything in between and it would produce legal video levels. Whether a given color looks good on video is another issue.

I would solve this by obtaining a Pantone swatch book from an art supply store, and then you can test the colors you like with a properly shaded studio camera. Any paint store can color-match paint to the chosen Pantone swatch. You might want to obtain a quart-size can of a few different shades and test larger areas of the paint samples using the video camera.

Bill Stephan
Senior Editor/DVD Author
USA Studios
New York City


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Andrew Aviles
Re: Broadcast Safe Pantone Colors? (gray)
on Apr 22, 2015 at 5:56:08 pm

Great thank you. It seems like PMS 421 is about the swatch they were requesting. I'll pass the advice on.


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