Pantone is a color-matching system widely used in the graphic design, printing, and manufacturing industries to ensure consistent and accurate color reproduction. Developed by the Pantone company, this proprietary system provides a standardized colour language that facilitates communication about colour across different industries and applications.
Key features and aspects of the Pantone colour system include:
- Colour Matching System: Pantone created a comprehensive colour matching system that assigns a unique code to each colour in its palette. This allows designers, printers, and manufacturers to precisely communicate and reproduce specific colours.
- Pantone Matching System (PMS): The most well-known component of Pantone is the Pantone Matching System (PMS). PMS consists of a set of standardized colour swatches, each identified by a unique code, making it easy to specify and replicate colours consistently.
- Colour Codes: Pantone colours are identified by alphanumeric codes, such as "PMS 185C." The number refers to the specific colour, and the letter indicates the type of material (C for coated paper, U for uncoated paper, etc.).
- Colour Guides: Pantone produces physical colour guides, often in the form of swatch books or fan decks, which display the entire range of Pantone colours. These guides are essential tools for designers and printers to select and match colours accurately.
- Printing Industry: In the printing industry, Pantone colours are widely used for spot colour printing, where specific ink colours are mixed to match the desired Pantone shade. This ensures consistent colour across different print runs.
- Brand Standards: Many companies and brands specify Pantone colours as part of their brand standards. This ensures that their logo and brand colours remain consistent across various applications, from printed materials to digital media.
- Design and Fashion: Designers in various fields, including graphic design, interior design, and fashion, use Pantone colours as a universal reference for colour selection and coordination.
- Bridge Guides: Pantone produces Bridge guides that provide conversions between Pantone colours and the four-colour (CMYK) printing process. This is useful when translating Pantone colours to be reproduced using standard printing inks.
- Extended Colour Systems: In addition to the classic Pantone Matching System, Pantone has introduced extended colour systems, such as Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors (FHI), which includes additional colours suited for textiles, home goods, and fashion.
- Global Standardization: Pantone's system is globally recognized and serves as a standard for colour communication, allowing designers and manufacturers worldwide to work with a consistent and shared colour reference.
Pantone's influence extends beyond the design and printing industries, impacting a wide range of fields where accurate and standardized colour reproduction is essential. The system is a valuable tool for maintaining colour consistency and precision in various applications.