What Is the Pantone Matching System (PMS)?
The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a color matching system that is widely used in the printing industry. It was created by Pantone Inc., an American corporation, in 1963. The system is now recognized around the world as the standard for color matching for graphics and printing.
The PMS is based on a proprietary color space that has more than 1,800 standardized colors. Each color is identified by a unique number, which is usually printed on logos, business cards, and other printed materials. The system also includes a set of color swatches that designers can use to select the colors that they want to use in their designs.
The PMS is particularly useful in the printing industry for two reasons: first, it ensures that printers can produce consistent colors across different jobs; second, it makes it easier for designers to communicate exactly what colors they want to use in their designs, even if they aren’t working directly with the printer.
One of the key advantages of the PMS is that it can be used to match colors across different printing processes. For example, if a designer wants to use a specific shade of blue on their logo but they are planning to use the logo on both a printed brochure and a digitally displayed website, they can specify the Pantone number to ensure that the color looks the same across both media.
In recent years, the PMS has been expanded beyond the printing industry to include digital media as well. Tools like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator now include Pantone libraries, and digital designers can specify Pantone numbers to ensure that their colors look consistent across different devices.
While the PMS is useful for ensuring consistency across different media, it is important to note that it cannot account for variations in printing technology, ink quality or paper stock. However, it remains an essential tool for designers and printers alike, and its ability to help ensure consistent, high-quality color reproduction has made it a trusted industry standard.