Technology Software

Define Pantone Colors


    • The Pantone Matching System was created so graphic designers could pick colors from a swatch book and receive accurate color matching on presses printing with Pantone inks. Picking from swatch books printed with the same inks helps ensure the best possible color match when the design is printed.

    Why It Works

    • Pantone colors are created by using pre-mixed Pantone inks according to precisely defined values for each color. A large number of Pantone colors, such as metallic inks, are sold fully mixed.

    Paper Variation

    • Because the ink absorption amount is different on coated (matte or glossy) paper, as opposed to more porous uncoated paper, Pantone uses two separate coated and uncoated swatch books. This way, designers can pick the right color for the paper they're using.

    Pantone Colors and Four-Color Printing

    • Although Pantone colors work best with Pantone inks, Pantone created the Pantone Process Guides so designers who have to print using four-color printing can see what their Pantone colors will look like printed in the basic cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks.


    • Because ink and paper fade over time, Pantone recommends replacing your swatch books yearly.

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