What is a pantone color chart?
A Pantone Color Chart is simply a chart released by the Pantone corporation. The reason it is so relevant in the printing industry is because the Pantone Matching System of colors, or PMS colors, has become the industry standard. That means that typically whenever a color is being chosen fo printing the designers or printers will assign that color a PMS color based on the Pantone color chart.
This color chart is used for a range of colored printing from papers, plastics, and even paints. However, it is definitely a staple in the fabric and apparel printing world. Since colors are generally a very subjective thing, this system is used to try to assign a definitive name or value to a color and thus take some of the guesswork out of it for the printers.
At some point of course it will come down to a person subjectively looking at the Pantone color chart and selecting a color or colors to match the one(s) in the artwork. For this reason most printers and printing companies welcome input from the customer. Because the Pantone color chart can be so precise with the different shades of each color once a Pantone color has been assigned it is much easier for the printers to get it right on the final product.
In order to make your final results as exact as possible it is a great idea to refer to the Pantone Color Chart yourself and let the printers know what color you have in mind for your artwork. The chart itself can be purchased or viewed from the Pantone Color Guide which is released by Pantone and features a fan-out style book of colors. It can also be viewed online; however, this is less precise since computer color settings may vary.
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