Pantone Colors (Colorspaces X)

Let’s have a look at another physical colorspace: Pantone.

The Pantone color system isn’t particularly useful for us as it is mainly concerned with “real world” colors, as in print. It also uses a variety of special dies, for metallic or fluorescent finish. It does, however, allow very accurate and consistent color reproduction for packaging, posters, and comics.

The 14 basic pigments are:

Yellow C Yellow 12 C Orange 021 C
Warm Red C Red 032 C Rubine Red C
Rhodamine Red C Purple C Violet C
Blue 072 C Reflex Blue C Process Blue C
Green C Black C Transparent White

Black C and Transparent White are mixed into the colors to get either darker or lighter (and less saturated) colors. However, since the colors are proprietary, we don’t really know how each of the colors are produced. We can use a color palette (such as the one in the picture above) to get the Pantone color number. To get that number, we order the color premixed. That’s still rather efficient if you are a process printer and won’t bother mixing your own colors with …mixed results.

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The fact that the colors are proprietary limits their use. In particular, you can’t have Open Source software use them. Or, more exactly, not legally. If you can get a list of RGB equivalents, they’re not Pantone official colors.

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You can get a longer list of Pantone colors here.

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