Pantone color system

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Pantone color fan
The Pantone Color System or Pantone Matching System is a standardized color system made by Pantone Inc. in 1963.[1]. This system is important because what appears on a monitor is never what actually appears on paper. [3] The standardized color system makes it easier for reproduction since each color has a specific formula in the color system. The Pantone color system is the most common spot-color system used by printers.[2] The standardized system makes it simpler to correlate one company's color to another, by simply referring to the Pantone number. However, production costs increase when using spot color systems because spot colors use separate inks to create their color.[3] A Pantone color formula is expressed by two digits followed by a dash and four more digits as well as a suffix (either TPX or TCX) at the end. For example, the formula for tangerine is: 15–1247 TCX. [4]

Pantone Color System and Cartographic Design

As all ink available around the world is not produced by one single company, a systemized color standard such as Pantone becomes useful. In cartography and map design, the Pantone Color System or Pantone Matching System makes it easy to find the same color over and over again by referring to the assigned formula for each color. In order to match colors from monitor to paper, PANTONE provides a variety of swatches and chip books. [5] Cartographers can go back and use a particular and unique color as many times as they please. The Pantone Color System can also be helpful in large projects where the same color needs to be used by multiple cartographers remotely. Furthermore, it eliminates any confusion in color identification when it comes to commercial mass printing of maps.

See Also


  1. Pantone, [1], "Wikipedia"
  2. Tyner, J. A. (2010). Principles of Map Design. (1st ed., p. 61) New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
  3. Slocum, T. A., McMaster, R. B., Kessler, F. C., & Howard, H. H. (2009). Thematic Cartography and Geovisualization. (3rd ed., pp. 238-239). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
  4. Pantone, Numbering Explained. [2]
  5. The Pantone Matching System - always show your true colors, Accessed September 27, 2017