Why Do Designers Use Pantone Colors?

Pantone has long been recognized as the industry leader in colour psychology. It is well-known for its colour guidelines and design tools. However, Pantone is more than just colours.

In 1963, Lawrence Herbert created the Pantone Color Matching System (CMS) to assist designers in producing repetitive and reliable results.

The Pantone Matching System, as the first colour system to gain widespread acceptance, has had a significant impact on the colours. It can be widely used in anything from fashion and interior decoration to cinematography.

Recently, Pantone has taken centre stage in the design sector, making colour trends easier to forecast and understand. You can create a design system using the world’s most popular colour database to help your digital team work smarter and faster.

Read the blog to learn why Pantone colours are crucial to designers.

Table of Contents

  1. What is Pantone?
  2. How does the Pantone Matching System works?
  3. Why do Designers use Pantone colors?

What is Pantone?

Before Pantone, each printing company had its own colour guide. “Yellow” was printed differently depending on how each ink company interpreted that colour to look. Some yellows were darker than others, while others were more orange or green. And it was never quite what the designer had envisioned.

Pantone is the world’s most leading source on colour, colour patterns, and colour scientific knowledge. Pantone (which combines pan and tone) created the first colour matching system in 1963. Their Color Matching System® (CMS) communicates and matches colours in packaging, marketing, and graphic arts. Graphic designers can use this system to see exactly what “yellow” would look like on paper and provide the printer with the Pantone number to ensure that they got what they wanted.

How does the Pantone Matching System work?

The Pantone Matching System matches the colour of the print to the exact colour of the print. There are 12 primary colour families (also known as “Pantone families”). Every group contains six primary colours that combine to form the various shades and tints of colours used in current fashion, styling, and interior designing.

Designers and stylists frequently use one of three different types of prints while using Pantone to accomplish a specific colour in their work:

1. Use Solid Colours

To begin with, designers and stylists can use solid colours. A solid colour is one in which all of the elements of the colors are the same.

2. Use Complementary Colours

Designers and stylists can also use complementary colours. A complementary colour is the polar opposite of another. Blue and red, for instance, are complementary colours. Blue’s polar opposite is red. Just use the opposite Pantone family to get the colour of a solid colour, and they’’ll get the complementary colour.

3. Use Analogous Colours

Third, designers and stylists can use Analogous colour. An analogous colour is one that is similar to another. Green and yellow, for example, are analogous colours. Both colours are comparable, as they have similar lightness and darkness.

In concept, the Pantone Matching System makes it simple to find the ideal colour match. However, like any formula, it has limitations. When there is an exact match for a colour, the system does not work. The colour must be similar to the one you’re looking for.

Why do designers use Pantone colors?

Pantone colours are critical in the design industry for creating different designs with specific detail and colour arrangements. It allows designers to select the shades best-suited from the colour chart or swatch booklet.

It is a good way to discover the exact colour desired for creating and building corporate brands for branding applications.

Benefit of using the Pantone Matching System is that designers may see a colour on the screen while creating a design. But when a proof is printed, the colour may not be an exact fit due to paper stock selection and printer variations.

As a result, choosing a specific Pantone colour with a customisable code allows printers, designers, and clients to be confident about their design. They would know that the colour chosen will print exactly as it appears in the Pantone chart or booklet.

The Pantone system also allows for the creation of many unique colours, such as metallics and fluorescents.

Color matching is standardised by using the Pantone system, making it simple to interact with vendors and accomplish the correct colour every time.

Furthermore, Pantone offers a variety of Color Guides (and other colour selection tools) that enables the designers to browse colours that are particularly suited to their industry and media type.


Color is the emotional centre of design, capable of instantly changing the feeling and public persona of programs and projects.

Colors are instinctual for most people — you they respond subconsciously to different colours on an emotional level — which may explain why Pantone’s systematic method of ordering colour has become so well-known and highly regarded over time.

If the emotive quality of colour can be systemized, marketers and designers will have significant power to create products that are more appealing to consumers.