Pantone (PMS) Colors: What Are They? How To Pick The Right One

When placing a custom printed order with MVP Visuals, you may be asked for a Pantone (PMS) Color. If you're not a graphic designer or a supplier, though, you might not know what that is. Here's a brief explanation on what Pantone Colors are and how to pick the right one for your custom order.


What is a Pantone (PMS) Number?

Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a standardized color reproduction system. There is a universal chart used by the industry to physically see what a specific PMS number looks like. Using Pantone numbers is the more reliable method of communicating a color.

What is a four-color process (CMYK) mix?

CMYK is a method of printing that uses a series of (Cyan), (Magenta), (Yellow), and (Black) dots. The majority of image files are produced using CMYK mixes. Different CMYK mixes will react differently when printed on different substrates such as nylon, polyester, vinyl, and paper.

The reason we ask for Pantone numbers when we are printing four-color process (CMYK) is because the variance that the four-color process (CMYK) gives on different substrates. This makes the CMYK mix an unreliable way to communicate the color. We use our Pantone chart to make sure the color is printing on track.

How will I benefit from using Pantone Color?

How many times have you gotten a custom-printed sign along with custom-printed business cards and realized after the fact that your red-orange was more red on one and more orange on the other? We want to save you the frustration of having mismatched colors, and allow you to reproduce consistent colors in your future orders*.

Additionally, a benefit from using Pantone Colors is that you are able to create colors that cannot be mixed in CMYK. Don't limit yourself to the four-color process.

Have any more questions about Pantone Colors? Feel free to call us and ask.

*As a note, printing on different media always comes with the risk of color variation. Be sure to consider that when printing your logo on different materials.

MVP Visuals is a supplier of custom printed displays for retail and event promotions. We feed off the power of happy customers.

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