how to know the Pantone of a color? Identify the colors in your designs accurately

do you want to print a logo but don’t know how to know the Pantone of a color you have used? Do you want to detect the Pantone color to make sure your digital artwork has exactly the same colors you see on the screen when printed in high quality?

If you want to learn how to know the Pantone of a color so that your designs are printed beautifully, always with the best quality and accuracy, you’re in the right place! In this article we will show you how to identify a Pantone color with the help of Illustrator and Photoshop, among other design programs.

In addition, we will tell you a little bit about what Pantone is and what is the importance of Pantone colors in graphic design. At first glance it looks like a simple string of different shades, but after searching for a Pantone color, you will discover a surprising world.

are you ready to learn how to know the Pantone of a color? Let’s get started!

what is Pantone?

The Pantone system is a color guide identified with a code that was created with the aim of making communication between designers and printers easier when it comes to color.

In other words, by detecting a Pantone color, you will be able to make the most of each tone of your design and take it to an absolute quality. This way, once you print it, you will be able to adapt it to any format without fear of distortion or loss of strength in the visual impact of the colors.

History of Pantone

Pantone was born in 1956, and its first business was printing color guides for cosmetics companies. There is no doubt that, at that time, the task of how to know the Pantone of a color was much more complex due to the scarce access to technology, but they managed to do it.

what was the technique with which the first editions of the Pantone color palettes set the trend? Simple: they used more than 50 different pigments and mixed them to find the colors they needed.

The main difficulty was that printers had to guess in order to arrive at the desired Pantone colors, since at that time, they were not cataloged with Pantone codes, therefore, there was a high chance of making mistakes .

Imagine you want to print a logo in blue: if you know the least about color theory, you will know that there are more than a hundred shades of color that we could identify as “blue”, but they have a different value, saturation and Pantone codes.

So… what happens if we alter just one of these properties? The resulting blue color will most likely not be what you expect. More than 60 years ago this was almost impossible to avoid for those who wanted to detect the Pantone color, but today, as we will see, it is much simpler.

Source: Pantone official website

Typical mistakes of early Pantone colors

A well-known example of this type of Pantone color error is that of the Kodak brand: its classic yellow/orange packaging had a color variation that depended on where it was printed.

This caused customers, who did not have much knowledge about how to know the Pantone color, to choose not to buy Kodak products that had a slightly darker color, as they thought this was because the product was fake or old.

So Kodak needed to be able to use the same color in order to have consistency in its image and maintain sales. And so, the need for standardization in the use of Pantone colors for printing arose and remains to this day.

To solve this problem, Pantone created the first Pantone guide in 1963, which consisted of only ten colors and was intended to create “a universal color language that would enable brands and customers to use Pantone colors in a consistent way.the purpose of the guide was to create “a universal color language to enable brands and producers to make critical color decisions at all stages of the workflow,” as stated on Pantone’s official website.

In simple terms, its debut was a success, given that before 1990 it had already established itself as the main reference in color specification. Then, it already started using all available tools to bring its Pantone codes to the online world, on computers and smartphones.

Now that we know a little more about the history of this emblematic company and the meaning of the word Pantone, which accompanies the daily lives of so many professionals, let’s take a closer look at how this color identification works.s in detail how this color identification works, how it is applied in different design programs and how to know the Pantone of a color.

Source: Unsplash

how does the Pantone system work?

The Pantone system is based on a series of palettes or color ranges known as Pantone Guides. With these guides, it is possible to obtain specific colors by mixing different predetermined inks provided by the manufacturer.

Pantone has two color systems:

Pantone Matching System™(PMS). It is used for the production of packaging and graphic arts in general.
Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors(FHI). It is used to work on fabrics and other materials related to fashion and interior design, such as leather, cosmetics and paints.

The advantage of Pantone systems is that each of the samples is numbered and, once selected, it is possible to recreate the color exactly, so the margin of error of Pantone colors is very small and it all comes down to mathematics.

In addition, thanks to the nomenclature of the Pantone systems, anyone in the world can know what specific color another person is referring to, regardless of whether they are of different nationalities or do not speak the same language.pantone codes solved a lot of problems!

Each color is described by a numbering and an acronym depending on the surface or material on which the color is to be applied:

M for matte finish
C and CP for coated paper (Coated)
TC and TCX for fabrics (Textile Color eXtended)
TPX for textile paper (Textile Paper eXtended)
Q for opaque plastics (opaQue)
T for transparent plastics (Transparent)
EC for Euro Coated (Euro Coated)
U and UP for uncoated paper (Uncoated)

So, what is the importance of Pantone colors in graphic design? Undoubtedly, the precision they can provide to the client when carrying out a project. Through a code, the person will be able to acquire exactly the color and tone he/she wants, immediately and safely.

This is because Pantone colors were created so that, regardless of the operating system used, the output color in printing is the same, making it easier for printers to accurately replicate the colors of a design.

what would happen in a world where Pantone color could not be detected? It would simply come down to trial and error, a lot of money would be spent, a lot of time would be spent and it would be almost impossible to achieve the same color you have chosen for a digital design.

In conclusion, we have already understood the importance of how to know the Pantone of a color for the printing of a design to be excellent, but… What about the Pantone colors on the screens? we’ll tell you about that below!

Source: Unsplash

Pantone system on screens

By now you have an idea of how the Pantone matching system works in print and its importance for graphic designers, illustrators and other creatives. However, you may still be wondering how Pantone colors on a screen can transition to a printed color without being modified .

As you know, colors can never be 100% identical to their digital version, because each screen has its own definition and configuration. It is here that Pantone Guides play an important role, since thanks to them you can know exactly how a color will look when printed, regardless of the calibration of your monitor.

To do this, you must change the colors of your design for the colors with a Pantone code that are closest to the colors you see on screen. That is, convert the RGB system colors to their equivalents in the Pantone system.

On the other hand, it should not be overlooked that Pantone and RGB are different systems, so the correspondence between the two color systems is also approximate.

The RGB system is used in display applications, and is based on the combination of three basic colors (red, green and blue). The Pantone color system, on the other hand, defines exact pigments, ideal for printing.

What you will see on screen depends on your monitor’s calibration (in RGB), i.e. its interpretation of Pantone colors. To see the actual color and make sure how the final printed product will look, you should consult a Pantonera, as the only way to know the Pantone of a color is to consult an actual Pantone swatch book .

Source: Unsplash

how to identify the Pantone of a color in design programs?

As we saw in the previous point, to make sure that the Pantone colors of your design or illustration will be exactly what you want when printing your project, you must convert the colors from RGB to Pantone .

But how do you know the Pantone code of a specific color? don’t worry, that answer can be found in design programs, and below we will show you how to get the Pantone of a color in the two best ones: Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.

how to know the Pantone of a color in Illustrator?

Getting the Pantone of a color in Illustrator is a much simpler task than it seems, since the program includes color books, with different sets of samples, including a digital version of several of the Pantone Guides .

To know the Pantone of a color in Illustrator, follow these steps:

Open your file and make sure the color profile is set to CMYK under File > Document Color Mode > CMYK Color
Select the object with the color for which you want to know the Pantone code and go to Edit > Edit Colors > Recolor with Preset > Individual Color.
A window will open in which you must select one of the Pantone color palettes available in Illustrator, to make the automatic relation of the selected color with the closest Pantone color within the palette.
Then we will see another window in which you must confirm the change of the colors to apply them by clicking on Ok.
Finally, to find out the Pantone code of the color, open the Color window using the F6 key. The Pantone color code or name will appear in this window as long as you have the object selected.

how to know the Pantone of a color in Photoshop?

In addition to Illustrator, there are other design programs widely used by professionals to identify the Pantone of a color, but, if you want to search only in the great Adobe family, one of them is Photoshop.

This program is one of the most advanced for editing images, therefore, we are also going to explain, step by step, how to make a color change in this program to get the Pantone of a color palette. Don’t worry, it’s even easier than in Illustrator!

So, here are the steps to follow to identify the Pantone in Photoshop :

Open your file.
Select the objects or object with the color you want to change to a Pantone color.
Open the Color Picker by clicking on the Foreground Color box in the Toolbar.
Click on Color Libraries .
Select one of the available Pantone color palettes.
Choose one of the Pantone color names closest to the selected color found in that palette, or stick with the one the program selects by default.

and that’s it! That’s how easy it is to solve your doubts about how to know the Pantone of a color in Photoshop. On the other hand, in case you don’t have much experience in the platform, we recommend our Photoshop guide. you will learn everything!

how to know the Pantone color of an image online?

While you can use specialized tools like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to know the Pantone of a color, there are also free online tools that will help you find this information.

The best tool you can find to know the Pantone of a color online is using Pantone’s Color Finder: it is the company’s own and ideal for you to take advantage of its different plans and learn how to know the Pantone of a color.

how to make your designs with Pantone Connect?

There is no doubt that Pantone Connect is your best alternative to search for a Pantone color online, but… How does this tool work? Let us explain.

The first step is to enter the value of your color in Hexadecimal, CMYK or RGB code. Once you insert it, the Pantone page will automatically select the closest shade to your color to establish the official Pantone color with which you will be able to print all your designs.

Also, if you don’t know the code of a color, you can use the Adobe color website to extract the color from an image in Hexadecimal code and then convert it into a Pantone color. it’svery easy to use and available to all users!

Now that you know how the Pantone system works and how to know the Pantone code of a color, go aheadand build your own color palette to achieve amazing designs! You could create, for example, a vintage color palette!

Pantone Connect Pricing

Although the free trial is very good to learn how to know the Pantone of a color and discover some of its tools, if you plan to use the platform for a long time, it is best to access one of their paid plans .

Anyway, we are going to analyze the three versions of Pantone Connect so that you can choose the one that best suits your needs:

Pantone Connect Basic for individuals – It is free, offers up to 10 Pantone color palettes to enjoy and allows access to more than 15 thousand Pantone colors .
Pantone Connect Premium for individuals – The premium plan can be yours for €6.99 per month or €30.99 if you subscribe for a year .
Pantone Connect Premium for teams – Learning how to know the Pantone of a color is an activity that can also be enjoyed in a group and Pantone Connect knows this, so it offers a special plan for groups. The price is also €30.99 per year, although the amount can be lower if you take advantage of the multiple discounts offered.

can Pantone Connect Premium be accessed for free?

It may seem impossible, but there are two ways to access a Pantone Guide, within Pantone Connect Premium, for free. What are they? We tell you about them below:

Free 30-day trial – In both individual and group plans, the platform offers a free month so you can get to know its tools, explore the world of Pantone colors and decide if you want to pay for them later.
Annual license purchase – Through this mechanism, in addition to “enjoying months of Pantone Connect Premium for free,” according to Pantone Connect, you can also access discounts of up to 20% if you are willing to purchase more than 51 licenses.

Pantone Color Trends

If we are talking about colors, we can say that the company Pantone is a specialist in the matter and, if there is a characteristic that defines fashion and the latest trends, without a doubt, it is the Pantone colors.

This is how this brand that never lags behind in matters of vanguard, every year predicts what will be the color that will triumph in the coming months and that, therefore, will be seen everywhere in the field of fashion, as well as in decoration and art. more reasons to learn how to Pantone a color!

The process of selecting the Pantone color of the year requires careful trend analysis that spans the entertainment industry, art collections, movies, lifestyle and new technologies, among others.

As society continues to recognize color as a critical form of communication and a way through which to symbolize thoughts and ideas, many designers and brands are embracing the language of color to connect with their users.

Because of all this, it is key that, as a designer or creative, you know how to know the Pantone of a color, while studying, analyzing and incorporating the Pantone color of the year into your design. It’s amazing how a simple hue can drive all of your work!

what is the Pantone color of 2022?

surprise! Pantone is a company that works very fast, so early on they have already let the world know what the Pantone color of the year 2022 is.

are you ready to find out? Then we tell you that PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri is the protagonist of 2022. For 2021, Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating and Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray were selected.

Source: Pantone

where can you find Pantone colors?

Although there is only one Pantone color of the year at the moment, there are many others that have been published as the latest trend in different industries. Some innovated and others are sticking around, but all were achieved with a Pantone code in between .

Below, we tell you in which elements you can find Pantone colors:

Artistic samples. Some art experts decide to use top-quality colors and, as we have already told you, that is achieved by identifying Pantone shades. Pantone Smoothies is a clear example of the aforementioned, according to Pixart Printing.
Establishments, from stores to hotels, such as the Pantone Hotel in Brussels, Belgium, not only chose the name to represent themselves, but also use Pantone colors as decoration.
When designing a uniform for a specific profession or making a T-shirt to represent a sports institution, many people choose Pantone colors to set trends.

Source: Unsplash

Now that you know what a Pantone color is and how to know the Pantone of a color you can raise the level of all your projects and be even more professional when dealing with a client. What are you waiting for to apply this knowledge in your designs?

don’t get left behind! Remember to always keep up to date with the most important design trends and make sure you always work with the best quality, using Pantone colors every time you have to print any of your creations.

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