Pantone: The Worldwide Web of Color

The Pantone Color Matching System is a universally accepted system for identifying, matching and communicating colors across virtually all forms of product design and marketing. Using this system ensures that colors in printed pieces precisely match a designer’s preferred color choices and that colors online perform properly in differing web browsers.

In this respect, Pantone is like the worldwide web of color—the sole internationally recognized system for communicating colors.

Matching colors

The underlying concept is that the Pantone Matching System (PMS) enables graphic designers to “match” specific colors when the time comes to move from the design to the production stage. This system is effective regardless of the technology used to produce the actual color.

Lawrence Herbert, Pantone’s founder, first created this pioneering color-matching system in 1963. It built on and refined such existing color reproduction systems as the CMYK process—a way of printing colors by using four inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black).

Herbert’s creation of a book of standardized colors helped graphic designers and others to overcome challenges fin their pursuit of accurate, standardized color matches across the board.

For print and digital use

In the succeeding decades, Pantone’s color matching system has been embraced by virtually all industries, from architecture and interior design to textiles and paint manufacturing, as well as a wealth of applications in digital technology. Its primary product is the Pantone Guide, consisting of thin cardboard sheets with a series of related color swatches printed on one side and bound in a small “flipbook.” Pantone colors are identified by their specified number (“PMS 125,” for example) and are available in more than 500 colors.

Another product, the Pantone Plus Series Color Bridge, offers color simulations of all solid Pantone colors in a format that permits accurate, side-by-side presentation. It helps designers and production professionals determine how a PMS color will appear when (a) recreated in CYMYK; and/or (b) displayed on computer monitors and web pages.

Designers rely upon the Pantone Matching System to guarantee that the colors they use to highlight your brand or product remain consistent in all marketing and design media.


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