Pantone Color Systems - GraphicsEasy as 1-2-3. Pantone has products to help you at every stage of the workflow, from color inspiration to production.
If you work in print, packaging, or digital design, you’re in the right place!
You’ve probably heard the word PMS, which stands for the Pantone Matching System, a proprietary numbering system for colors used in graphics arts.
THE HEART OF OUR SYSTEM IS SOLID COLOR…
The heart of the PMS system is solid color ink printed on paper. Why? Solid colors represent the truest representation of color intent in graphic arts. Solid color printing, also known as spot or offset, is the process by which a single color is formulated and then applied through the printing process.
We have 2,678 solid colors (and counting), broken out in the following way:
But sometimes you must print in process…
We all know that solid color printing, also known as offset or spot color printing, is the most accurate, but also the most expensive. Therefore, we developed two guides for process printing that help you achieve the closest match to PMS when budgets are tight.
WORKING IN CMYK?
This fan guide provides a side-by-side visual comparison of Pantone Spot Colors to their closest CMYK process printing match. Color Bridge is our only guide that includes CMYK, Hex, and RGB values for each PMS Color.SHOP COLOR BRIDGE
WORKING IN CMYK-OGV?
This guide offers 90% better Pantone Spot Color matches over CMYK by adding Orange, Green and Violet to the CYMK color gamut. Achieve more vibrant colors and closer matches to Pantone Spot Colors with the Extended Gamut Guide.
And sometimes you’re not printing at all…
We have tools for you! Pantone Studio for iOS provides all Pantone colors at your fingertips and allows you to translate your inspiration into workable, sharable palettes on the go. PantoneLIVE Design software ensures you're working with a complete set of Pantone Colors in your Adobe applications (and when you're printing, can help you see how your PMS Colors will change when applied to 28 different print and packaging materials).
All PMS colors are available as plastic chips, enabling consistent replication of your colors across your materials. Plastic Chips are large enough to be digitally measured and they also demonstrate multiple finishes and thicknesses.SHOP PLASTICS
See how designers use PMS
Solid Chips for Chip Kidd
“Do I want new colors? Well, who would ever not want new colors? New colors, to me, means new stories to tell and new ways to tell them.”
Formula Guide for Eddie Opara
“It allows people like myself to reproduce that color, again and again and again, without compromise.”
Color Bridge for Jessica Walsh
“You can make sure that the Hex values that you’re seeing on web translate to the RGB, translate to the CMYK, and you’re getting the same consistency from print to digital.”
Frequently Asked Questions1
We print our colors on the most commonly used, globally available paper stocks. Our coated guide is #1 grade 100lb gloss text stock (148 g/m2) and the uncoated guide is premium grade 80lb text stock (118 g/m2).
PMS colors marked with a C mean that the color is printed on coated paper for a glossy finish, as you would see in a magazine. This is desirable for sharp and complex designs, as the ink stays on top of the paper, preventing bleeding. Likewise, a U indicates uncoated paper, which has a more porous finish, common on letterhead. Uncoated paper is generally more absorbent of ink than coated, reducing sharpness.
Understanding the difference between spot and process is incredibly important in setting color expectations from design intention to production and when transitioning from a computer screen to the printing press. Solid color printing, also known as spot or offset, is the printing process using ink mixed using a precise formulation, such as Pantone 137 C. Alternatively, process printing is a method, is the process of printing colors using Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK). In Extended Gamut printing, another form of process printing, Orange, Green, and Violet are added to the CMYK process to expand the color range.
Handling, light, humidity, and oil will cause colors to become inaccurate and you could be missing the latest market and trend driven colors. How many colors are you missing? Learn more here
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