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The Pantone Color Matching System (PMS) and Its Use In Printing

The Pantone Color Matching System: A Worldwide Color Matching Standard

The Pantone Matching System(PMS) is a global force in the field of color language and design.

The PMS is a standardized color matching system and it is run by Pantone Inc. 

Pantone has successfully become the universal language of color as it has successfully named almost all the different tones of color, and this language is used on an almost universal basis. 

What Exactly is Pantone?

The PMS is a standardized color matching system that ensures accuracy according to a specific type of color and is coded through a numbering system, also known as Pantone

Although PMS is most popularly associated with the printing industry, it is also heavily used in the manufacture of plastics, clothes, fabrics, and paint.

The PMS color guide is the dominant guide used by designers, manufacturers, clients, artists, and printers. The system is widely adopted primarily because of its highly accurate color identification, quality control, and meticulous design specification.

Different PMS Palettes

PMS has a number of different color palettes:

  • Pantone Solid palette
  • Process palette
  • Textile palette
  • Plastic palette
  • Goe palette

All the different palettes list thousands of colors and each particular palette is used in a particular industry.

Pantone basically has the power to define what color is supposed to look like, whether the color is the right shade of magenta, cyan, red, or yellow etc.

The Pantone Solid Colors palette is the most widely color palette produced by Pantone.

The palette has a little more than 1100 unique colors and is primarily used in the print, graphics, and publishing industries. This is the palette that you are likely to find on most color printers.

The Pantone solid colors palette for custom packaging.
Pantone Solid Palette

Benefits of Pantone Colors

It is the most widely used color system in the world and hence, it is more likely to be identified by industries when compared to other color systems.

It also has an incredibly high range of colors and is second-to- none. No other system contains the same level of detail and precision as PMS.

This is why PMS is excellent for standard packaging and branding as it creates a uniform color code.

Pantone vs CMYK

CMYK colors are made up of four elements: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The colors are typically printed separately and then layered.

PMS consists of a collection of colors that do not represent any specific model and therefore, print a wider range of colors than what is achievable through CMYK.

Colors printed using CMYK has a much higher degree of variation than PMS. The color consistency of PMS is one of the reasons why it has become a global standard.

The PMS will continue to be a global standard for the foreseeable future and is the most popular system in the world.

About author

Mark Velarga

Mark Velarga is PakFactory's Director of Digital & Content Marketing. He writes about all things related to design, business and technology and how it serves value to customers, business owners, packaging designers and industry experts. Connect with him on Linkedin.
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