Pantone® is also known as the Pantone Matching System (PMS) and is the industry standard for color matching. It’s what makes the blue Kroger® logo the same color across their marketing and packaging. Big corporations design artwork using Pantone® colors for this exact reason. There are over 1,800 Pantone® colors and each are precisely mixed and arrive in individual containers, ready to be used in the printing process.
Every specific Pantone® color is used in the exact same way CMYK inks are used during the offset process, except the press will use your Pantone® color. This allows the printing process to achieve vibrant, consistent solid colors.
You can think of Pantone® much like you would the paint samples you pick up at your local hardware store. You choose a specific color and you put that color on your wall; Voila! You’ve got the exact color you wanted. In contrast CMYK is like picking up cans of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black Paint and mixing them on your wall to get the color you want.
“Spot Color” refers to using, on average, one to four specific Pantone® colors. If a file was designed in CMYK, spot color printing cannot be achieved because even though our eye sees one color, that CMYK color could be a combination of all four, which defeats the idea behind Spot Color Printing. You must choose the specific Pantone® color equivalent to print in Spot color. (We have Pantone® Swatches that will help you do this.)
If you need perfect consistency in your branding colors, Spot Color may be your best choice.
When designing a print ready file, you cannot simply design in CMYK and then convert to Pantone®. You may get lucky and colors could print close to what you’ve designed, but more often than not, the results are less than stellar. Be sure to understand Pantone® before creating artwork using it. You can always reach out to us. We would love to hear about your project and help you make educated decisions on what is best moving forward.
Just remember… if you need a quick, beautiful print, Digital Printing is probably a great choice. If you are needed something in a large quantity in full-color, or even black & white, CMYK Offset Printing will probably be the better option. If you need color boldness and continuity, Spot Color printing using specific Pantone® colors could work wonders for your project.
No matter what your project entails, we’ve got the knowledge and experience to walk with you along the way. We’d love to hear about what you’re working on and give you the best options to achieve your goals.
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