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What is PANTONE?

What is a PMS guide?

How many types of PMS guides are there?

How do I know what type of PANTONE guide I need?

What is the difference between spot and process color

What is the difference between fan guides and chip guides?

How often should I replace my guide?

Where can I find the PANTONE Huey Pro?

Where can I find the PANTONE Solid to Process Guide?

Where can I find the PANTONE Tints Guide?

Why is the swatch for a specific PMS number different in my guide different than the swatch in another Pantone® guide?


What is PANTONE?
PANTONE® is the standard language for color identification and communication and the worldwide expert on color. PANTONE color guides allow clients, designers, and manufacturers to select, specify, match, and control color in many diverse applications.

For detailed info on Pantone® please go to their website:link to Pantone website

What is a PMS guide?
PANTONE Matching System® is the industry standard for selecting, matching, and mixing color. The PANTONE System utilizes 11 basic colors to achieve over 1000 different colors that are used by printers and art departments. The basic colors are yellow, warm red, rubine red, rhodamine red, purple, violet, reflex blue, process blue, green, black, and transparent white, which looks clear (see illustration below).

Figure 1  11 Basic PANTONE Colors
Pantone bases

The PANTONE Matching System® Color Guides are an indispensable tool for printers and designers. The various guides provide swatches for all of the colors in the PANTONE System. In addition to the 11 basic colors there are the process colors used in 4 color process printing, then the hundreds of colors that can be mixed from the basics, and finally the fluorescent and metallic colors. Each of the mixed colors is assigned a Pantone number. For example, the first number assigned for a mixed color in the basic PANTONE Formula Guide is 100 and the numbering proceeds up from that point. The instructions for mixing the color are listed below the color swatch.

Note:  Ideally, any PANTONE Color Guide should be replaced after a year, because the printed colors in the guide will shift or fade and no longer be a true representation of the actual colors.

How many types of PMS guides are there?
There are four main types or categories of Pantone® guides available:

1. Solids, also known as Spot colors, or PMS colors. The Solid numbers appear as three or four digit numbers and may have a C (coated), a U (uncoated).

    PANTONE Formula Guide C/U is the most common solids color guide.

    PANTONE Metallics are specialty solids color guides.
    The color code numbers are of the 8000 (PANTONE regular metallic) & 10000 (PANTONE premium metallic) series.

    PANTONE Pastels & Neons is a specialty solids color guide. Its code is GG1404
    The color numbers are of the 9000 series.

    PANTONE Goe is a specialty solids color guide introduced in 2007. Numbering system: All Goe Colors are identified by a three-part hyphenated numbering system. The first number ranges from one to 165 indicating the color family it belongs to. The middle number will be from one to five, signifying the page within the color family. The last number ranges from one to seven and identifies a color's position on the page. The "C" suffix indicates coated stock and the "U" uncoated stock. (examples: PANTONE 105-5-3 C, PANTONE 31-4-6 U).

2. Process, also known as 4-color process or CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) guides. There two process guides.

    The CMYK guide is offered in a fan guide format (coated and uncoated only)
    Please note that the CMYK GUIDE does not contain the same colors as the regular PANTONE Formula Guide C/U. If you are looking for the CMYK screened versions of the regular PANTONE color guide, please see the PANTONE Color Bridge.

    In the Color Bridge conversion guide the Solid colors are listed down the left side of the page with their corresponding 4-color Process formulas down the right side of the page. Some Solid colors translate well into 4-color process and some do not. The Color Bridge is offered in fan guide format in coated and/or uncoated versions. PANTONE Color bridge is the most common process guide.

3. Textiles, which is divided into two different divisions, PANTONE for fashion and home, and PANTONE Architecture and Interiors. The textile numbers appear as two digits, a hyphen, and then four digits, and may be followed by TP (textile paper), TPX (textile paper-latest edition), or TC (textile cotton). See our price list for pricing information.

Pantone 2011 color of the year Honeysuckle swatch

An example of a Pantone Fashion and home color (2011 Pantone color of the year).


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Plastics, which offers two types of chips, opaque or transparent. Plastic numbers will have either a Q (opaque) or a T (transparent) in front of them and appear as three digits, a hyphen, one digit, a hyphen, one digit. See our price list or email us for pricing information.

How do I know what type of PANTONE guide I need?
Although the person requesting a PANTONE guide should know what type of guide they require, in most cases when the type of guide needed is not clear, the basic PANTONE Formula Guide C/U is usually the one required.

What is the different between Spot and Process color?
Solid or "Spot" colors are printed with a single color, using a PANTONE solid color ink. Process colors are printed using Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black inks (CMYK), on a four-color Process printing press or digital press.

What is the difference between fan guides and chip guides?
Fan guides have "fan out" pages, and contain a color sample of the specified PANTONE color. Chips books are in three ring binders, and contain a color sample of the specified PANTONE color, normally with six tear out chips of each color.

How often should I replace my guide?
We recommend replacing the guides once every year or so. The ink on the guides is subject to fading over time. Of course, this depends on the type of usage your guide receives. With heavy usage and exposure to light, yes, once a year is not too often. With lighter usage and not much exposure to light, most customers replace their guides every couple of years.

Where can I find the PANTONE Huey Pro?
Pantone Huey Pro was discontinued in January 2013. It was replaced by the ColorMunki Smile.

Where can I find the PANTONE Solid to Process Guide?
The Solid to Process Guide has been replaced with the new PANTONE color bridge.

Where can I find the PANTONE Tints Guide?
The Pantone Tints guide (GP1205) was discontinued in 2010. There is no replacement.

Why is the swatch for a specific Pantone number different in my guide than the swatch in another Pantone® guide?
There are multitude of reasons why one color may vary from the same color number in another guide. Firstly, the year and printing edition of the books may differ. PANTONE has made certain changes over the years with regards to the type of paper and ink film thickness of their PANTONE colors, in addition, the pigments my fade or change over time and use. One must also be aware that despite the expertise of Pantone at managing color, any color guide must be considered truly as a guide and very good color reference and communication tool, but not a color standard in the true sense. When precise color specification is required we recommend the use of PANTONE chip color specifier to ensure precise color communication between parties. Good communication between designer, printer and ink manufacturer is very important in order to achieve the desired finished product.

PANTONE® and other PANTONE, Inc. trademarks are the property of PANTONE, Inc.

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