What are Pantone colors

Pantone colors

On occasion you may find reference to some shades of colors by referring to their “Pantone code”What does this mean, what are Pantone colors?

The Pantone Color System establishes a catalog of color codes that universally and unequivocally identify different shades of pigment

Pantone is a company founded in the 1950s in New Jersey (United States), initially dedicated to commercial printing by two former executives from the advertising field. The company employed Lawrence Herbert, an employee who, thanks to his knowledge of chemistry, was able to develop a system that simplified the way of systematizing the company’s enormous catalog of pigments, thus facilitating the production of colored inks.

By means of strips of cardboard representing the different colors available, grouped in a catalog that collected these samples on 15×5 centimeter cards, the different shades of color that the company could produce were offered grouped and organized. Each color was assigned a code that individualized it.

Each color is produced by a precise combination of four basic colors according to the CMYK model.corresponding to the colors cyan (blue), magenta, yellow and black (for blacK). In addition to the basic combinations, the Pantone Matching System (PMS) offers spot colors (solid or spot) but also processed colors from this four-color process generated by the combination of the four colors mentioned above.

That combination can be specified by manufacturers of different parts, companies and locations so that when a particular color is identified there will never be differences in hue, even when new colors are introduced… provided they are already previously included in the Pantone catalog.

The set of color strips was referred to as. Pantone Guide and currently offers a catalog of thousands of different colors so that in terms of direct colors are counted 3,026 different colors, in four colors are 6,732 different colors but there is a digital platform, Pantone Connect, which offers exclusive access to designers and manufacturers to more than 15,000 colors from all the different Pantone libraries. existing.

And the fact is that new colors keep appearing, especially since 2000 when the Pantone Color Institute started the “Color of the Year” initiative that once a year (increased to twice in 2021), and following a secret meeting of representatives of various color standardization organizations from all over the world, selects a new specific shade, newly created, which connects with the predominant aesthetic trend of the moment. Each color receives its descriptive denomination as well as the codes that allow it to be unequivocally identified in a universal way.

In the latest editions lThe Colors of the Year have been as follows:

-Year 2020: Classic Blue. – Pantone 19-4052 #0F4C81

-Year 2021: Ultimate Gray – Pantone 17-5104 #939597

-Year 2021: Illuminating (Illuminating Yellow) – Pantone 13-0647 #F5DF4D

-Year 2022: Very Peri (Very Peri) – Pantone 17-3938 #6667AB

Since Pantone registers its colors as intellectual property, their use is only allowed under authorization. In this sense, this week it has been announced that Pantone will start charging a subscription so that its colors can be used in Adobe platform tools, such as Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator.

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