header pattern
Home > Blog > Pantone and the colour revolution

Pantone and the colour revolution

New Jersey-based company Pantone is a pretty big deal in the worlds of print, design and fashion. Pantone has become a global authority on colour, helping to establish design trends, set industry standards and drive a fully-fledged colour revolution. You can’t get far in print without knowing a thing or two about the Pantone Colour Institute. But what is it about Pantone that has made the company such an industry powerhouse?

The Pantone Matching System

The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is the development that helped to make Pantone a household name. It’s a coded colour system that allows designers and printers to communicate in a way that both can understand, preventing confusion and ensuring that the colours in designers’ heads and on their preliminary sketches exactly match those reproduced by the printers. Writing for the Quartz blog, Anne Quinto described the Pantone Matching System as ‘the lingua franca of colour‘. It’s this more than anything else that makes Pantone stand out from the other colour systems out there – everyone knows about it and everyone uses it. Design using Pantone colours and your print supplier will be able to reproduce them perfectly.

The Colour of the Year

If you don’t work in design, fashion or print, then you may well have heard of Pantone via the Colour of the Year. The men and women at Pantone keep a close eye on global colour trends. Every year they assemble a group of international colour standards experts in order to determine the following year’s tint du jour. They take all kinds of things into consideration, from climate to politics, fashion to current events. For the first time ever, 2016’s Pantone Colour of the Year is actually two colours: Rose Quartz (an ethereal, washed-out pink) and Serenity (a soft powder blue). A statement on the Pantone website explains the logic behind this year’s selection:

“As consumers seek mindfulness and wellbeing as an antidote to modern-day stresses, welcoming colours that psychologically fulfil our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent.”

There’s even a handy colour pairing chart, so designers can easily match the Colour of the Year with complementary shades.

Pantone’s cultural impact

Like many of the best brands, Pantone has transcended the commercial and become something of a cultural icon. The Pantone Colour Matching System is simple and easy to use, with an elegance comparable to the periodic table or the London tube map. As such, it has achieved similar iconic status. Today, fans of the brand can invest in coffee cups, iPhone cases, journals and even watches in distinct Pantone designs. These feature the brand’s iconic colour chips, which bear a swatch of colour above a white bar with the shade’s name and code in neat Helvetica.

Not many brands can claim to be as functional and as iconic as Pantone. Working with print we encounter Pantone colours every day, and often they’re on hand to make our lives that much easier. Our job, meanwhile, is to make your life easier – improving your company’s relationship with print to reduce costs and enhance print marketing effectiveness. To find out more about how print management can benefit you, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

pattern up green pattern down