Monday, April 8, 2013

What are PMS Colors?

JCGraphics.com JCGWeb

Say you are creating a brochure for your business and you found the most PERFECT shade of blue for your background. You just know that this color is going to take your brochure to the next level and make it the snazziest, most eye-catching brochure out there. But wait? How do you tell your printer/graphic designer what color it is, so that they print it correctly on your brochure?

You can’t very well say “blue”, as there are (seemingly) a million different shades of blue. Even narrowing it to “light blue” leaves too many options for you to feel confident that your exact color will be printed.
You could email your printer/graphic designer a sample image with the color depicted, so they could see it. But wait, each computer monitor displays colors and images at different resolutions -- the color that shows up on your computer, will more than likely show up differently on theirs.  You could try printing that sample image and delivering or mailing it to your printer/designer but, just like with computer monitors, each printer will print colors differently.

But you were really sold on this shade of blue. It was just perfect for your brochure. There must be a way to effectively tell your printer/designer the exact shade you were wanting.

Well good news! You’re in luck! Enter: the Pantone Matching System, or PMS for short. PMS is a universal system of colors used in the printing and graphic design industry. Much like we use a set of letters in the English Language, called the Alphabet, to communicate words and sentences to each other; in the printing and graphic design world we use PMS to communicate specific colors. It takes out the guesswork of figuring out exact hues and shades of color.

“Ok, I like the idea of a common system of colors. But I don’t have a PMS book, what do I do now?”
Good question. PMS colors can be viewed online, in documents like the one HERE. You can choose the color that most closely matches the one you were wanting and tell your printer/graphic designer the number that has been assigned to that color. However, as helpful and efficient as technology normally is, it can’t always do the job of the human eye. The very best way to be sure you’re getting your exact right color is to personally view a PMS book to pick your shade. Your printer/graphic designer should have that available to you.

With PMS, you will no longer lose sleep over picking your perfect color. You can get your brochure printed with confidence now, because you used a system that made it possible to communicate the exact color you wanted to your printer/graphic designer easily and effectively.

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