What are Pantone colours?

Pantone colours are a widely used colour system when it comes to industrial printing and especially printing on boats, cars, and other objects that want to get more specific colours printed on the surface.

The reason why Pantone colours are called it is that the Pantone colours were made by a company called Pantone, and it was also this company that invented the Pantone Matching System. The Pantone Matching System was made so designers, companies, and other interested parties could be sure that the colour they chose would be the same on all of their platforms. This means that when people refer to a Pantone colour it is the colour that are specified in the Pantone Matching System, so the Pantone system is primarilly made to make it easy for designers to communicate with each other.

How does Pantone colour codes work?

When making a design or print file using Pantone colours to know the code of the Pantone colour you wish to have in your design. The system for printing the ink on paper is referred to using a three- or four-digit number followed by C or U. This refers to colours that can be used on paper which is coated/glossy paper, and U, of course, refers to paper that is uncoated. There are also some Pantone colours which are referred to by the named colours such as the 18 base colours like Pantone Reflex Blue C. 

CMYK vs Pantone colours

Printing agencies will often have the possibility of choosing between using Pantone and CMYK colours, and there are primarily two things they take into consideration. The first one and probably the most important one is how specific the colours can be because CMYK colours can only show 70% of all the colours that are visible to the human eye, where Pantone colours can show a lot more colours and especially bright colours. The second thing is how many colours needs to be printed in the design because CMYK uses 4 base colours to create a wide spectrum of colours and you’ll be able to choose as many of these colours without any additional cost. But with Pantone colours the colours are mixed individually and you would then pay for each colour you choose to have in the design. 

Where are Pantone colours used?

As written at the start Pantone colours are primarilly used for printing on transport vehicles, such as trucks, boats, and etc. It is though also used for printing on packaging, textile and other products which are not plain and easy to print on. This is due to the Pantone colours not being mixed when they are being put on the product, but the colours have been mixed before it touches which makes them more specific. 

Some manufacturers do also use Pantone colours to keep the cost of the printing low by choosing to only print one colour, whereas with CMYK Colours the manufacturers would always be able to print more many colours in the print, so the start-up cost would be higher.