Pantone Colors

by admin on March 18, 2012

Slide 4
Slide 3
Slide 4
Pantone Celosia Orange

PANTONE is a company based out of Carlstadt, New Jersey that calls itself the “world-renowned authority on color.” It is most widely known for its PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM (PMS), a proprietary color space used by designer professionals, printers, and occasionally in manufacturing colored fabric, plastics, and paint. The PMS is organized into a book of standardized color in fan format.

Learn more about the Pantone Story

PANTONE started out as a commercial printing company in the 1950’s. In 1956, Lawrence Herbert was hired as a part-time employee. Herbert had graduated from Hofstra University and, using his knowledge of chemistry, he systematically simplified the company’s stock of colored inks and pigments. Herbert began running the ink and printing division at profit in 1962, while the commercial-display division was $50,000 in debt; he then purchased the company’s technological assets from his employers and renamed them “PANTONE.”

Herbert created a new system for matching, communicating, and identifying colors, thus solving the problems of finding appropriate color matches for the design community. Herbert believed that the color spectrum is seen and understood differently by individuals. This led to the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM. PMS allows designers to color match certain colors when a design enters production stage—regardless of the equipment used to produce the color. This system has been widely adopted by graphic designers and reproduction and printing houses for a number of years now. PANTONE recommends that PMS Color Guides be bought yearly, because their inks yellow as time goes on (as many often do). Color variance can also occur within books based on the paper stock used (matte, coated, or uncoated).


One of the company’s main products are the PANTONE Guides, which have a great number of small thin cardboard sheets(approximately 6×2 inches or 15×5 cm), printed on one side with a series of related color swatches and then bound into a small fan deck. For example, one page may have different amounts of greens of varying tints.
The PANTONE Color Matching System is unique in that it is a standardized color reproduction system. This means that by standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in many different locations can all refer to the PANTONE system to make sure colors match without directly contacting one another.

The CMYK process is one way to standardize color; it is a way to print color by using four inks— magenta, cyan, yellow, and black. A vast majority of printed material is produced using the CMYK process, and there is a special subset of PANTONE colors that can be reproduced using CMYK. Those that are possible to simulate through the CMYK process are labeled as such within the company’s guides. However, most of the PANTONE system’s 1,114 spot colors cannot be produced with CMYK but with 13 base pigments (15 including white and black) mixed in certain amounts.
The PANTONE system also allows for a large number of “special” colors to be created, like metallics and fluorescents. Most of the PANTONE system colors are beyond the printed CMYK spectrum; only in 2001 did PANTONE begin supplying translations of their existing system with screen-based colors (screen-based colors use the RGB—red, green, blue—system to create multiple colors). RGB and LAB values with each color are in the Goe system.
PANTONE partnered with Fine Paints of Europe to create PANTONE PAINTS in 2006, which is a line of premium-quality Dutch paint, allowing designers and consumers the ability to match 3,000 PANTONE Colors in paint. PANTONE continues to explore and create new trends in the color world to this day.

Color Messages & Meanings By Leatrice Eiseman

More about Pantone from wikipedia


pantone-color-of-year--decade 2000-2011

Previous post:

Next post: