What are pantone colors?

Pantone is a corporation based out of the United States that is known for its Pantone Matching System, and many users refer to it as PMS colors. This color system is used in various industries such as colored paint, fabric, and plastics, but it is used first and foremost in the printing industry.

This color matching system is used to get the correct colors for screen printing and embroidery as well as many other types of colored printing. What that means for you as a customer is that when you submit your artwork for printing the artist or printer who sets everything up for production will refer to the Pantone color chart and select Pantone colors which match the color used in your artwork as closely as possible.

Thus, the Pantone Matching System allows for a standardized way to refer to the print colors. This helps increase the precision with which the colors are printed since it relies less on subjective definitions and descriptions of the color. However, it is still somewhat subjective in the phase during which the PMS color is selected since at that point a person has to sit down and guage which PMS color is closest to the color in your artwork.

For this reason printers will typically welcome input from the customer on what PMS color they would like to see used. Pantone produces something called "Pantone Guides" which are easily purchased and are a great resource for designers and other people who frequently work with artwork and printing to have. Pantone colors can also be found online but are generally slightly less precise since computer color settings may vary. Nevertheless selecting your PMS color beforehand and letting the printers know which color you would like to use is a great way to help ensure the accuracy of your print.

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