How the Pantone Colour System Works

The Pantone system is a standardised full match system for organising and matching colours. This helps to ensure that colours will always match between two or more printing jobs, regardless of time or distance between them.

There are over 1100 distinct colours in the Pantone system, which can be used independently or in combination with another Pantone colour or any CMYK combination.

How Pantone works

The Pantone system was developed in relation to a real commercial need for a full spectrum capable colour mix system. The original Pantone system was created in the pre digital days, when the need for complex colours, particularly compound colours, was putting a strain on the printing capacities of the times.

As anyone who’s ever needed to get a print job done knows, colours are always an issue, and so is colour quality. The Pantone approach, which is a holistic grading of colours and tones, was the logical answer, and became extremely popular.

When digital printing began, Pantone was perfectly placed to meet the needs of the new printing technology. It provided a series of known colour values, which was a blessing for printers and clients alike. The standardization of colour mixes is a fundamental need in digital printing, where print colours simply can’t be mixed by rule of thumb because of the constraints of printing capabilities. The colour mix must translate into a working digital formula for printing.

The Pantone approach allows for calculated mixes of ratios to get accurate colour reproduction. It’s a particularly practical approach to the demands of commercial colour schemes, where professional design is becoming the benchmark standard for print work. However exotic the colour scheme, Pantone is always able to make the right mix of colours.

Pantone colours allow people to create company and personal identities through colour.

The extremely high demand for technical and print quality in reproduction has been no real problem for the Pantone system. Professional printing services have been quick to opt for an all-purpose full spectrum printing capability.

The range of print jobs is a good indicator of Pantone’s high range of abilities:

  • Reports
  • Advertising Materials
  • Poster Printing
  • Business Card Printing
  • Brochure Printing
  • Letterheads
  • Calendars
  • Booklets
  • Vouchers
  • Bookmarks
  • Greeting cards

As you can see, this is practically anything, in any format, any type of paper cut or size. The huge advantage in Pantone’s range is its ability to adapt directly to client requirements. The days of a choice of a few colours are well and truly gone. The very high quality prints you see now are a reflection of the market demand.

Pantone really is the professional printer’s choice. If you’re looking for a complete visual business identity, you’ve got it. The corporate logo can be reproduced to the pixel, exactly as you want it. The personalized stationery will be perfect. Compare Pantone with anything, you’ll see why the industry has voted with its business to use Pantone.

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