The Pantone Matching System (PMS), is a universal language of color that allows you to control your brand’s palette across all mediums including print, web, or even video.

The colors have specific numbered codes followed by the letters C (coated), U (uncoated), or M (matte), which represent paper stocks. This allows you to see how a particular color looks on a different paper type. Not all colors look different from paper to paper, but others can look drastically different, which is why these letter codes are so important.

You can access all Pantone colors using a Pantone book or visiting their website.

what is pantone

Pantone vs CMYK

PMS is a great tool to ensure your colors stay consistent across the board, but printing can get a little pricey. Companies like Pepsi, Apple, and professional sports teams have no problem paying premiums for their marketing. However, smaller companies and startups may not have the budget for it. That’s where 4-color process comes in.

The most cost-effective, and common printing option, is CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black), also known as 4-color process. This process can have varying results from printer to printer, but we have the right tools to get them as close as possible.

To learn a little more about CMYK, RGB, and printing, check out our blog, Why Colors Look Different on Screen vs When Printed.

Where are my brand colors specified?

If your brand was assigned a PMS color, you can find it in your brand guide, which you should have received from your logo designer. In addition to specifying logo usage rules, fonts, and brand philosophy, brand guides should always include a section dedicated to your brand colors. Each color should be associated with a list of 3-4 color codes: PMS, CMYK, RGB, and HEX. These codes are the recipe for the color to be the correct shade on print, web, and video.

what is pantone

When it comes to your brand, color consistency is crucial and can sometimes be a headache to manage. That’s where we come in. We have all the tools you need to ensure your brand stays true. If you have any questions or need help translating your brand from computer to print, or vise versa, give us a call!

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