Pantone logo.svg

Pantone Inc. is a corporation headquartered in Carlstadt, New Jersey, USA.[1] The company is best known for its Pantone Matching System (PMS), a proprietary color space used in a variety of industries, primarily printing, though sometimes in the manufacture of colored paint, fabric, and plastics.

In October 2007, X-Rite Inc, a supplier of color measurement instruments and software, purchased Pantone Inc for $180 million.[2]



Pantone began as a commercial printing company in the 1950s. In 1956, they hired recent Hofstra University graduate Lawrence Herbert as a part-time employee. Herbert used his chemistry knowledge to systematize and simplify the company's stock of pigments and production of colored inks; by 1962, Herbert was running the ink and printing division at a profit, while the commercial-display division was $50,000 in debt; he subsequently purchased the company's technological assets from his employers and renamed them "Pantone".[3]

The company's primary products include the Pantone Guides, which consist of a large number of small (approximately 6×2 inches or 15×5 cm) thin cardboard sheets, printed on one side with a series of related color swatches and then bound into a small "fan deck". For instance, a particular "page" might contain a number of yellows of varying tints.

The idea behind the PMS is to allow designers to 'color match' specific colors when a design enters production stage—regardless of the equipment used to produce the color. This system has been widely adopted by graphic designers and reproduction and printing houses for a number of years now. Pantone recommends that PMS Color Guides be purchased annually as their inks become more yellow over time.[4] Color variance also occurs within editions based on the paper stock used (coated, matte or uncoated), while interedition color variance occurs when there are changes to the specific paper stock used.[5]

Original Pantone Color Matching System

A Solid Matte Formula Guide from Pantone, 2005 edition.

The Pantone Color Matching System is largely a standardized color reproduction system. By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colors match without direct contact with one another.

One such use is standardizing colors in the CMYK process. The CMYK process is a method of printing color by using four inks—cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. A majority of the world's printed material is produced using the CMYK process, and there is a special subset of Pantone colors that can be reproduced using CMYK[citation needed]. Those that are possible to simulate through the CMYK process are labeled as such within the company's guides.

However, most of the Pantone system's 1,114 spot colors cannot be simulated with CMYK but with 13 base pigments (15 including white and black) mixed in specified amounts.[6]

The Pantone system also allows for many 'special' colors to be produced such as metallics and fluorescents. While most of the Pantone system colors are beyond the printed CMYK gamut, it was only in 2001 that Pantone began providing translations of their existing system with screen-based colors. (Screen-based colors use the RGB—red, green, blue—system to create various colors.)[7] The Goe system has RGB and LAB values with each color.[8]

Pantone colors are described by their allocated number (typically referred to as, for example, 'PMS 130'). PMS colors are almost always used in branding and have even found their way into government legislation (to describe the colors of flags). In January 2003, the Scottish Parliament debated a petition (reference PE512) to refer to the blue in the Scottish flag (saltire) as 'Pantone 300'. Countries such as Canada and South Korea and organizations such as the FIA have also chosen to refer to specific Pantone colors to use when producing flags. U.S. states including Texas have set legislated PMS colors of their flags.[9]

Pantone Goe System

On September 5, 2007 Pantone introduced the Goe System.[10] Goe consists of over 2,000 new colors in a brand new matching and numbering system. In addition to the standard swatch books (now called the GoeGuide), the new system also includes adhesive-backed GoeSticks, interactive software, tools, and an online community where users are able to share color swatches and information.

The Goe system is streamlined to use fewer base colors (10 + Clear coating for reflections) and accommodates many technical challenges in reproducing colors on a press.[6]

Other products

In mid-2006 Pantone, partnering with Vermont-based Fine Paints of Europe, introduced a new line of interior and exterior paints. The color palette uses Pantone's color research and trending and has more than 3000 colors.

Color of the Year

Annually Pantone will declare a particular color "Color of the Year". The color is chosen to purportedly connect with the zeitgeist; for example the press release declaring Honeysuckle the color of 2011 said "In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues."[11]

Pantone 15-4020

Fuchsia Rose
Pantone 17-2031

True Red
Pantone 19-1664

Aqua Sky
Pantone 14-4811

Pantone 17-1456

Blue Turquoise
Pantone 15-5217

Sand Dollar
Pantone 13-1106

Chili Pepper
Pantone 19-1557

Blue Iris
Pantone 18-3943

Pantone 14-0848

Pantone 15-5519

Pantone 18-2120

Intellectual property

Pantone asserts that their lists of color numbers and pigment values are the intellectual property of Pantone and free use of the list is not allowed.[12] This is frequently held as a reason why Pantone colors cannot be supported in Open Source software such as GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) and are not often found in low-cost software.[13] Pantone palettes supplied by printer manufacturers can be obtained freely, and, depending on supplier, do not come with usage restrictions beyond a sales ban on hard copies of the palette.

Pantone also produces Hexachrome, a patented six-color printing system.[14][15]

See also


  1. ^ Horyn, Cathy. "Pantone's Color of the Year Is... ", The New York Times, December 20, 2007. Accessed September 8, 2008. "Nonetheless, Pantone’s choice of blue iris, or No. 18-3943, got some news media attention last week, which seemed to be partly the objective of the company, which is based in Carlstadt, N.J."
  2. ^ Pantone US$180m Acquisition Completion For X-Rite: News from X-Rite
  3. ^ Pantone Inc. - Company History
  4. ^ Senior Staff (interview) October 27, 2006. Ink Systems, Inc
  5. ^ "Pantone Press Release, 6 May 2004". Archived from the original on 2006-01-03. Retrieved 2007-02-23.  "Colors in the new formula guide and chips books have changed due to a shift to coated paper that is brighter and whiter"
  6. ^ a b Pantone 2.0: After 45 Years, the Sequel to PMS
  7. ^ Pantone announces RGB conversions for Pantone system Press Release Providing Designers with Simple and Accurate Methods for Recreating Pantone Matching System Colors in Web Designs
  8. ^ Pantone Goe and RGB Values and CMYK Conversions
  9. ^ CHAPTER 3100. STATE FLAG (b) The red and blue of the state flag are (1) the same colors used in the United States flag; and (2) defined as numbers 193 (red) and 281 (dark blue) of the Pantone Matching System.
  10. ^ Pantone Unveils Goe System Press Release Over 2,000 New Pantone Colors to Inspire, Explore and Express the Color of Ideas, Press Release, September 5, 2007
  11. ^ "Pantone Reveals Color of the Year for 2011: PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle". 
  12. ^ Pantone Terms of Use Clause 4 includes "published materials of Pantone, are protected by copyright laws and include, for example, graphic presentations, color references, Pantone Colors, Pantone Names, numbers, formulas, and software" Retrieved 30 July 2009
  13. ^ :: Pantone and free software
  14. ^ United States Patent: 5734800
  15. ^

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pantone — Formula Guide solid coated Pantone Matching System (PMS) ist der Name eines Farbsystems, das hauptsächlich in der Grafik und Druckindustrie eingesetzt wird. Es wurde von der Pantone, Inc., einem amerikanischen Unternehmen mit Sitz in Carlstadt,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pantone — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Edición 2005 de la paleta Pantone Sólida Mate Pantone Inc. es una empresa con sede en Carlstadt, Nueva Jersey (Estados Unidos), creadora de un sistema de control de color para las artes gráficas. Su si …   Wikipedia Español

  • Pantone® — /panˈtōn/ noun A colour standard system, used in printing, visual arts, etc, in which each shade of each colour has an internationally recognized number, enabling exact matching of colours (also adjective) ORIGIN: ↑pan and ↑tone1 …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pantone — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Pantone peut faire référence à : Paul Pantone (1950 ), un inventeur d une méthode d alimentation pour moteur, Moteur Pantone, le moteur de Paul… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pantone — наименование фирмы, выпускающей каталоги цветов для полиграфии, объединенных названием Pantone. Наиболее распространенный из них – Pantone Formula Guide. Каталог состоит из 14 базовых и более 1000 составных цветов, получаемых из базовых по… …   Краткий толковый словарь по полиграфии

  • Pantone — This unusual name is of Anglo Saxon origin, although also found in Scotland from the 13th century. It is a locational surname deriving from the place called Panton in Lincolnshire. The placename is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Pantone …   Surnames reference

  • Pantone — Empresa fundada en 1962, creadora de un sistema de control de color para las artes gráficas. Su sistema es el más reconocido y utilizado por lo que normalmente se llama Pantone al sistema de control de colores. El sistema se basa en una paleta o… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Pantone — …   Википедия

  • Pantone — ● np. f. tm? ►GRAPH Nom (propre) d un nuancier très utilisé par les professionnels devant définir précisément les couleurs qu ils utilisent …   Dictionnaire d'informatique francophone

  • pantone — pan·to·ne s.m.inv. ES ingl. {{wmetafile0}} TS graf., tipogr., edit. sistema di codifica e identificazione dei colori adottato come campionario | estens., ciascuno dei colori che ne fanno parte {{line}} {{/line}} DATA: 1991. ETIMO: nome… …   Dizionario italiano

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”