Pantone Color GuideToday I got my brand-spankin-new Pantone Color guide!  So exciting!

I showed my husband… ok, maybe he caught me taking this dorky picture of myself – and he said, “Now you can pick more paint colors.  What room are you painting?”

NO!  Pantone color guides aren’t for picking room paint (and I’m pretty over painting this house for now).

In their own words, this is who Pantone is…

Pantone LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Incorporated, is the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries. The PANTONE® name is known worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer.

Basically, Pantone helps us communicate color.

Some manufacturers ask artists to give Pantone colors for their art, others don’t.

The key question to ask your licensee is this:  What color system do you use in the manufacturing process?

Pantone Color Bridge - coated and uncoatedThere are a variety of ways to talk color and communicate.  There are different color fans, swatches and systems you can buy.  What you invest in should depend on what the manufacturers you work with need – personally, I didn’t invest in these until I was asked for colors.

There are swatches for coated and uncoated paper, RGB, CMYK and HTML equivalents and there are Textile colors.  You can’t even guess what a manufacturer will used based on the product.  A few years ago I was picking colors for ceramic dishes for a licensee and they and their factory wanted me to pick textile colors.  Now I am working with a different ceramic company that wants to use coated colors…

Honestly, I find it a bit confusing, but it is important to be able to keep color as consistent as possible as your art moves through the process – going from your drawing table to computer to licensee to factory to the end product.

Learn more about Pantone at and when the time comes that you are asked to “give Pantone colors for your art” – don’t panic.  🙂  Ask what color system to use, get the guides and start picking!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed