Pantone book or 'fan' used in graphic design and commercial print industries

Should Pantone colours be important to YOUR business?  It makes sure the colour of, for example, your logo, is consistent across everything you print.  This is what makes sure that your company is instantly recognisable.

What is a Pantone?

The term ‘Pantone’ is the name given to a system which matches colours used in printing.  There are over 1500 unique, numbered Pantone colours, which are all documented in a ‘Pantone book’ (also known as a ‘fan deck’).   A Pantone book is made up of lots of rectangular pages approximately 15x5cm.  Each page has swatches of colours labelled with a reference number – imagine hundreds of those cards you get in DIY stores that have paint colours on so you can see which shade you want to paint your lounge, all bound together into a ‘book’.

A Pantone number is usually followed by C, U or M which specifies the paper type, so you know how it should look on different types of paper:

  • Coated Paper
  • Uncoated Paper
  • Matte Paper

What are Pantones used for?

The purpose of the Pantone system is to help Graphic Designers and Commercial Printers specify and control colours for designs which will be printed. Using Pantones allows commercial printers to match up colours when the design is at the printing stage, the idea being that the colour will always be consistent even if the previous job was done on a totally different machine.

A little bit about ‘Pantone’…

The first Pantone colour matching system was used in the 1960s and every year since Pantone announce a ‘colour of the year’.  This year’s colour being MARSALA, described as ‘a naturally robust and earthy wine red, Marsala enriches our minds, bodies and souls’.  Pantone’s colour of the year is often a trend setter, influencing everything from fashion to florestry.

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