Quick Question Monday: What is the Pantone Color System and How is it used in Packaging?

The Pantone Color System, or PMS, is a standardized color matching system, which is widely used around the world. It was devised to help printers and designers to specify and control colors for printing projects. The Pantone Color System allows you to specify colors that cannot be mixed in traditional CMYK. What is CMYK? CMYK is the color process utilizing four color bases : cyan, magenta, yellow and black. It is a color model that is used in color printing.

How does it work?

Pantone colors are described by their allocated number, for example, PMS 205, is pink. There are over 1,000 colors identified in the Pantone Color Matching System, including metallic and fluorescent colors. The solid palette is also identified by a suffix following the color. The suffix code refers to the paper stock on which the color is printed; C stands for coated paper, M is matte paper, and U is uncoated paper. For color plastic component production, A Pantone Plastic Color reference number is used. The color references are denoted by a Q or T, followed by a three-digit number that identify the color. The letter Q refers to color printed on opaque plastic and T on transparent plastic.

How is it Beneficial?

Different manufacturers in different locations, with no direct contact, can use the Pantone Color System because it is known that all the colors will match using this system. The standardization of the colors takes out all of the guesswork, providing consistent artwork or brand logos. In packaging, Pantone color is often used to specify color specification at point of bottle manufacturing and decoration. For many special order (or made-to-order) plastic bottle, color bottles are made when color pallets are mixed with resins to achieve the desired color. The Pantone color system is most often used to communicate color requirement from the designer to the manufacturer to ensure color accuracy.

For bottle decoration. the Pantone color system is used to specify colors used in the artwork. Since colors may appear different under different lighting, using the Pantone color system will ensure proper color match from conception to production. For more information about silk screening, click here.

If you would like to take a look at the different swatches of color, click here and go to the Pantone website for more information.

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