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Label Printing with Pantones: Why do printers need Pantones?

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Why Pantone colors are best for printing…

If you’ve had anything printed before, you’ve likely been asked for PMS or Pantone colors for your artwork. PMS (Pantone Matching System) is the print and design standard for matching colors created by Pantone Inc. All the colors in the spectrum have been assigned a specific Pantone number code to help printers and designers specify particular colors.

No two computers display color the same, just as no two printers will reproduce color the same (or the same way twice) and every human eye perceives color differently from one another. This is why the Pantone Matching System is so important. It allows a designer to identify a color and a printer to match it. The Pantone Matching System is able to communicate color accurately so that inaccurate color matches (which are costly and frustrating) can be avoided. This standardization of color means the color requested and expected will be the color printed – within very small degree of variance – regardless of the equipment used for printing the job.

The PMS swatch books are printed on various stocks (Coated, Uncoated, and Matte) because each stock and surface will show color differently. It is also important to specify which stock the color should be matched to: Coated, Uncoated, or Matte. This seemingly insignificant detail can make all the difference in the world for a proper color match.

If color is important to you, and it should be if you are branding a company or a product, then you must select PMS colors for your logo and designs and make sure you tell your print company what they are. Even though print companies are usually printing in CMYK (mixtures of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black), which can reproduce only a portion of the PMS colors, a PMS color to match ensures they are producing a color as close as possible. A proper color match means proper branding and a smooth printing experience.

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