Pantone Colour System - Graphics
Pantone Color Systems - Graphics
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.
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.
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
|CORE||PASTELS & NEONS||METALLICS||FAN||CHIPS||SPOT||PROCESS|
|Extended Gamut Coated||X||X||X|
|Premium Metallics Guides||X||X||X|
|Pastels & Neons Guide||X||X||X|
|Pastels & Neons Solid Chips||X||X||X|
|Premium Metallics Chips||X||X||X|
Formula guide is named that because it’s the only guide that includes ink formulations!
Color Bridge is our only guide that includes CMYK, Hex, and RGB values for each PMS color.
Graphic Design Workflow
Beyond our graphics color system, we have tools for every stage of the workflow, from inspiration to creation. Want to know where color direction is going? Check out the ViewPoint Colour Magazine. Need to see color in the right light? Check out Pantone Lightbooths. This diagram highlights the top tools from Pantone to help make your colors a hit.