What are Pantone Colors?

Q: What are Pantone Colors?

A: The Pantone color system is a numbering system used to identify and match colors. Pantone colors are standardized colors that are able to be referenced and replicated exactly. Using Pantone colors allows designers, manufacturers and printers to reference specific Pantone colors. This allows them to ensure consistent color matching and precision across all printed collateral.

There are many Pantone palettes for use in a variety of specific industries (e.g. Pantone Process Palette, Pantone Textile Palette and Pantone Plastics Palette) containing nearly 10,000 colors. The most commonly referenced Pantone palette is the Pantone Solids Palette, which contains 1,114 colors.

Pantone colors are identified by a numbering system. This numbering system contains three or four numbers, followed by a suffix such as C (Coated), U (Uncoated) or M (Matte Paper).
For example, the LabelValue.com logo contains three main colors - a light blue, a dark blue and a yellow. The Pantone colors of our logo are as follows:

LabelValue.com Logo Pantone Colors

  • Yellow: 012C

  • Dark Blue: Reflex Blue

  • Light Blue: 299C


Wait a second, you might say, what's up with the "Reflex Blue?" That's not a set of numbers followed by a suffix!

Glad you asked. In addition to the numbering system, there are a few very common standardized colors that are referred to specifically by name. Reflex Blue is one of these anomalies, however it is used in many branding schemes as it is a deep, true blue. For more info about the anomaly of Reflex Blue, read here. It's too much of a history lesson to include here.

Other Names for Pantone Colors

Oftentimes, you will here Pantone colors referred to as PMS colors or Spot Colors. These are just nicknames of sorts for saying Pantone Colors.

Use Pantone Colors to Ensure Precision

So now that you know what Pantone colors are, make sure to standardize your printed collateral. It will help ensure your branding remains consistent across the board.

We'll also be able to turn around any custom printed label order much quicker if you have the Pantone colors embedded or communicated at the beginning of your printing project. That will make both our lives much easier.

For more information on Pantone colors, visit www.Pantone.com. To order color-coded labels for your own use, visit our custom labels page here.