Know your Pantones

Colour matching has always been a problem, and the Pantone system was invented to solve it. The theory is simple: instead of choosing a generic CMYK colour mix, you specify a numbered Pantone shade, picking it from one of 1,341 coloured swatches. When you hand your project over to a printer, they use the shade's number as a reference and select a mix of Pantone inks to recreate it with precision. In short, you get the colour you expected to get. The shade references are absolute and they're recognised globally, so you can print your project just about anywhere in the world and get the same results. Printers are certified for compliance and accuracy, and are tested annually.

In practice, this is slightly more complex. Pantone's original product range featured a selection of 1,117 colours. This was a neat and simple system, but the range has been extended, and now supports a wider selection of possible colours and processes, called Pantone Plus. It's fair to say that the product ranges aren't a model of clarity until you understand which ranges you need and how to use them.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of eight full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Ecommerce Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Editor, Digital Art and 3D Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Beth Nicholls and Staff Writer Natalie Fear, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.