With the name almost identical to the surname of my beloved wife Pantoni, see what this essential Pantone tool can do for you.Tweet
Among designers, illustrators and specialists in visual communication , the word Pantone has become synonymous with a color palette. But do you really know what it is about? Pantone Inc. – owned by X-Rite since 2007 – is a well-known American printing company. It develops color-coded systems, among many other activities.
Nowadays, this giant of the printing industry is much more than a language of colors. It is also a reference in the textile, fashion, paints and plastics industry. The company is also highly sought after in the area of interior decoration by designers and architects. The brand has become quite notorious for its numerous codes for every tone you can imagine.
To understand from the beginning, let’s take a brief historical tour to better illustrate and color the trajectory of this phenomenon. Come on?
Find out how and when Pantone appeared
It all started in 1963, at the hands of Lawrence Herbert, founder of the Pantone Matching System, or PMS – in Portuguese, something like “Pantone Color Scale”. It is a system of precise identification of colors by means of numbering, free from human subjectivity. The system uses preset color formulations to generate a huge number of inks.
This is the system most used today to develop colors, including metallic or fluorescent effects. It’s like one of those paint palettes from building supply stores. The matrices for the colors are the same primary colors. Creating a Pantone shade is a way of mixing paints with others, but in a much more exact and precise way.
Herbert believed that the color spectrum is seen and interpreted differently by the eyes of each individual. In addition, at that time, the lack of color targeting technology resulted in many printing errors. The errors in the printing occurred because the number of shades available was not enough to compose a specific color.
The businessman saw a broader spectrum of hues. After all, there were some nuances, like reddish purple or bluish purple, warm and cold shadows, dark and light hues and tones. However, errors were inevitable and appeared whenever insufficient tones appeared to be used. Therefore, it seemed obvious to him the need to expand the possibilities.
Discover the color organization system
Faced with this impasse, Laurence Herbert started his popular color organization system. This initially had ten items in the catalog. The objective was to reduce the variations that went wrong and to ensure uniformity in the forms . Several new markets and media appeared, and more and more products and colors were needed.
In addition to Pantone, other companies have created systems to combine colors, without, however, reaching so much public knowledge. This is the case with RAL and the Munsell System. Pantone was not the first to systematize a standardized language. However, this company has acquired such authority that it has become the most famous to date in the sector.
For the time, this was an extremely advanced tool . Through it, it became easier to exactly replicate the shades through the numbering system. It has come to be widely used by designers and advertisers, the textile industry and other areas. Most people do not know it yet, but the system is very present around us.
During the 1970s, the brand had already sold more than one hundred thousand catalogs. Today, the company estimates a quantity of printed matter in the millions, with its strict chromatic control. Pantone is already the most widely used color creation system worldwide, except in Japan. Our advertising, for example, for decades, has already made use of its wide range of shades.
See the relevance of the Pantone system
With well-targeted marketing initiatives at the beginning of the year 2000, the company has achieved global strength. Currently, it is no longer a matter of providing specific palettes, but a complex with several strands. Among the main examples are: the Colors of the Year, which we will address later, the Instituto de Cor Pantone, hotel chains, cafes and various products.
Among the most varied products of the company, we highlight the iPhone keyboards, mugs, shoes and makeup. Not to mention its relationship with cinema , as in the case of yellow developed exclusively for characters in the Minions franchise . Incredible, isn’t it? As we can see, it is an immense variety, which shows power and prominence in the market.
We have already shown here a sample of the expansion of Pantone’s domains beyond the graphic standards. Although they represent the majority of their income, businesses also strongly embrace other fields. This is the case with industrial and interior design and fashion. After all, they also rely heavily on chromatic patterns at this level in their designs.
Take the differences between qualified colors for decoration and fashion, for example. Even the names are appropriate for each segment, with the appropriate associations. People need to communicate through colors. Therefore, it is quite natural that the Pantone palette of each segment contains particularities that meet this demand.
Understand how colors should be applied
Anyone who deals with printed graphic materials knows that, in order to obtain satisfactory chromatic results, one must work with the CMYK system . This color mode combines pigments in cyan, yellow, magenta and black tones, known as “four-color”. The color subtraction method used by the CMYK mode works by absorbing light.
In addition to this system, the printing industry works with Pantone, which is also called “direct color”. Or, in the original in English, spot color . It is used to obtain exact shades of colors. A good example is its use in creating logos . In view of its precision, this system is printed outside the CMYK composition, or else to complement it.
When opting for the Pantone scale in graphic projects, it is necessary to purchase the corresponding ink. It should be mixed according to the formula in the guide. The system should only be included in your job if it really needs to be printed with that ink. You may be wondering, then, in what situations you should use the Pantone scale.
Some of the main cases in which this system is essential are: when there is a need to work with one or more colors not represented by the CMYK system; when the project requires fluorescent or metallic colors; or in cases where there is an obligation to maintain the color standard established by a brand or product.
It is important to remember that the Pantone system is not accepted in color photos, as well as in digital printing. These must be converted and printed in CMYK color mode. However, the system can be applied to offset printing . Regarding color codes, we know that they function as your identities. And each shade has its own!
Check out some examples of color codes
Typically, codes consist of three or four numbers and a letter: C, U or M. The letter C stands for coated and means that the paper used to be printed has a special coating . The letter U symbolizes uncoated . That is, in this case, there is no coating to be used on the paper. And finally, the “M” is intended for printing on matte paper.
There are almost thousands of colors and each one has a different code. Take the yellow Pantone 101 as an example. It has three versions: 101C (“C” for coated paper ), 101U (plain paper) and 101M (for matte paper). It seems insignificant, but this detail makes all the difference in the result of the printed work. So stay tuned to the letters!
Discover all about the Pantone Color of the Year
The choice of an “official” Pantone color of the year started in 1999. Cerulean , the color chosen for the expected year 2000, was quite successful. It represented the new millennium as a time of tranquility and peace. The results of the action were very positive. So, since then, annually, the brand is in charge of researching and launching the trend for the following year.
Check out the color trends launched by the company during the last ten years below:
2019 — Living Coral;
2018 – Ultra Violet;
2017 — Greenery;
2016 – Rose Quartz and Serenity ;
2015 – Marsala;
2014 — Radiant Orchid;
2013 — Emerald;
2012 — Tangerine Tango;
2011 – Honeysuckle (Honeysuckle);
2010 — Turquoise;
2009 – Mimosa.
The color chosen for 2019, for example, is Living Coral. She was chosen above all for bringing an aspect of energy, sociability and spirituality. It was concluded, after all the research promoted by the brand, that this tone is welcoming and encourages well-energized activities. It represents the inherent search for expressing ourselves playfully and for optimism.
According to Pantone, this color brings smoothness and, at the same time, is vibrant. It is also a response to our constant need for connectivity and technology. This means that we do not need to give up modernity in order to seek deeper and more intimate experiences. Therefore, there is no lack of stimulus, nature and interpersonal connection in this tone.
Remembering that the Pantone color is chosen with the help of several studies. There are months invested in cultural research , trends and feelings of the public around the world. The choice has a very judicious character, with wide influence on fashion design, graphics , interior design and other segments. Therefore, it is always good to be attuned to such trends!
This initiative demonstrates that colors can be powerful tools. With that in mind, Pantone created the Color Institute. Its aim is to help brands develop and better understand the application of colors in their products or services. Not every company has an industry that is solely responsible for issues like these, which are so important.
We must use colors consistently and with due analysis, before applying them without any criteria. With its more conscious use, we are able to promote changes and influence behavior. Now that you know what Pantone is and when to use it, apply it wisely! The difference, for sure, will be noticed and appreciated.
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