PMS Pantone CMYK conversion

PMS example

PMS Pantone color swatches

Choose from Hundreds of Colors

What is a PMS color?

PMS is an abbreviation for Pantone Matching System; an ink color system containing about 500 color swatches, each of which is identified by a color number and a formula for the ink.

Still confused? Computer monitor calibration and printers display and produce all colors differently. Pantone colors are very specific colors that will print the same regardless of what it looks like on your computer screen or what printer prints the piece. It’s somewhat like a paint swatch. That swatch lets you know what the color looks like so there won’t be any surprises later.

Although digital printing does not use the actual Pantone colors, assigning PMS colors to artwork gives the production team a guideline for what colors they are trying to match.

PLEASE NOTE: Not all Pantone colors can be recreated exactly using a four color process (CMYK). If you have access to a Pantone Solid Coated Color Bridge that also shows the CMYK equivalent, please pay close attention to the difference between the Pantone and CMYK swatch when choosing your colors.

PMS color bridgeDesign Specifications

  • 1. Use the Solid Coated Color Bridge when choosing your colors. Viewing the uncoated color swatch or choosing the CVC (computer video – coated) option may give you the wrong representation of the actual color.
  • 2. If your school/company/organization does not have a PMS color, it’s best to compare your color to a popular college that may have the same/similar color. For example, rather saying “our colors are blue and white,” tell us “our colors are Duke University blue and white.”
  • 3. Or you can provide us with a hard copy of a business card or flyer that contains the correct color to match or get close to.
  • 4. We also have color charts in our showroom with hundreds of colors printed on dozens of different materials. Let us know how we can help you!