In 1963 Pantone's founder, Lawrence Herbert, created an innovative system for identifying, matching and communicating colour. His insight, that colours could be interpreted differently by each individual, led to the creation of the Pantone Matching System, a book of standardised colours in fan format.
Herbert created the Pantone Matching System primarily to solve problems associated with colour matching in the graphic arts industry, but since that time Pantone has expanded its colour matching system concept to other colour-critical industries.
Today, Pantone is known across a wide variety of industries as the standard language for accurate colour communication and continues to develop inspirational tools and technologies for the worldwide creative community. Pantone was acquired by X-Rite Incorporated in October 2007.
The Pantone Plus Series for multimedia graphics is today's version of the original Pantone Matching System. It is the definitive international reference for selecting, specifying, matching and communicating ink colours. The system is available in colour guide or colour chips formats and features 1,867 solid colours, all with their unique Pantone reference number. Guides are available on coated and uncoated stocks and contain corresponding ink mixing formula's for each colour, whilst the chips format provides perforated tear-out colour samples that can be used for quality control. Pantone Solid Colours consist of 1,867 colours with 3 or 4 digit colour references (eg. 032). Pantone Solid Colour References ending in "C" or "U" denotes that the colour is reproduced on either Coated or Uncoated paper.
The Pantone CMYK Guide provides a comprehensive palette of 2,868 digitally created colours that are achievable in four-colour process printing, and the Pantone Colour Bridge lets you compare solid Pantone colours to their closest possible CMYK match. The guide also gives the best HTML and RGB values for reproducing colours digitally. The Pantone CMYK colours number is a hyphenated process references (eg. P 132-2).
The Pantone Extended Gamut Guide offers seven-colour process printing simulations of the Pantone Plus Series Colours. Seven-colour process can help to achieve a 60% better Pantone colour match than conventional four-colour CMYK printing.
Pantone Metallics have 301 colours with 3 or 4 digit colour references (eg. 8340).
Pantone Pastel and Neons is a range of 154 pastel and 56 neon colours with 3 or 4 digit colour references (eg. 9022 or 804).
The New eco-friendly Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors Colour Guides feature 2,310 Pantone Textile Colours, printed on paper or cotton. The new edition colours have been created from more Earth-friendly formulations and an accompanying new Pantone Colour Number suffix, TPG (Textile Paper – “Green”). This TPG reference replaces the old TPX (paper) reference. The TCX reference is still in use for colour reproduced on cotton.
The Pantone Plastics Colour System allows designers, manufacturers and suppliers who work with plastics to select, specify, control and manufacture hundreds of colours by the use of opaque and transparent plastic colour chips.
Pantone Plastics Standard Chips are colour referenced by the prefix "PQ", followed by the Pantone reference number. For example PQ-314C for a colour from the Pantone Plus system, where as a textile colour chip would be PQ-14-0760TPX.
Pantone Plastics Opaque or Transparent Selector Chips are referenced by prefixing the Pantone colour with either a "T" for transparent or "Q" for opaque, ie: Q-314 for an opaque chip for a colour from the Pantone Plus colour range, or T-14-0760 for a Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors colour.
The Pantone Universe is a collection of lifestyle consumer products based on fashion colour trends. The collection consist of such diverse items as Pantone Mugs and even Pantone Christmas Decorations. Products from the Pantone Universe combine timeless design and modern materials with current trend colours.
Pantone Colour Institute
The Pantone Colour Institute is a research and information centre that shares its colour expertise with professionals in a variety of industries and education. Recognised throughout the world as the leading source of colour information, the Institute is used as a resource by some of the world's most influential brands.