The Pantone Color Matching System And Your Marketing
The Pantone Color Matching System or “PMS” is a color matching system popularized by the global printing industry. PMS has enabled designers, publishers and printers to ensure accurate spot colors—by, simply, specifying a Pantone name or number, everyone involved in the printing and production process is guaranteed to be using and seeing the exact same color and tone. This has become particularly important, as design has moved almost exclusively to digital platforms. Colors can appear obscured or otherwise altered, washed out or pixelated from computer monitor to monitor, making it impossible to precisely gauge the exact tone on screen.
PMS is used primarily for spot colors—a printing method that uses specific ink for each color—and not for process color, which prints using four inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) and, typically, utilize the CMYK color model. Despite the greater flexibility and infinite number of colors available using a CMYK model, because the majority of printed pieces require a specific color and not a variance, PMS color has become the most widely used industry standard.
Despite its prominence there are some potential drawbacks to PMS colors, including a slightly higher ink cost and possibility of small but visible imperfections in the final printed pieces, because only one color is utilized. To avoid this, designers may choose to avoid more complex creative, which can lead to “ghosting” within the printed image.
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