What Is A Pantone Swatch Book?

You may be curious to know what a Pantone swatch book is. A Pantone book is a book of colours which is a tool printing companies use to manage colour accuracy. Pantone is an organization and it establishes a global standard. People in all corners of the world use this same standard.

Take Coca Cola for example. All advertising for this brand uses a particular colour red. Coca Cola wants to make sure the colour is consistent, and the way printers do that is by using a Pantone swatch book.

Each colour in the book has a different reference which means something to those in the print trade. It refers to the colour breakdown that is used when mixing the ink to produce the same colour every time. There is a coated and an uncoated book, which refers to the type of paper that is used. Photocopy paper, for example, is uncoated paper. So the colour soaks into this paper, which it does not when a glossy type of paper is used, such as that used for brochures. The resulting colour will be slightly different according to the paper. For example, if you looked up Pantone192, perhaps the Coca Cola red, it would look slightly different in the two books, because in one, using the coated paper, the ink would stay on the surface.

There are two columns in the book, one is called solid, the way that the ink is mixed, and the other is CMYK, (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK) which are the three primary colours plus black. The three colours, plus black mixed together make millions of different colours. A TV screen is made up of only three colours, Red, Green and Blue, RGB.

With printing, there are usually only four colours used and they are mixed together to get the entire spectrum of colours. To match a colour for a client time and time again, the Pantone book is used.

There is another book which is all about metallic colours. It is the printer’s job to consistently match your metallic silver or metallic gold or any one of a number of other metallic colours.

Every book printed by Pantone is uniform. As new colours are added to the spectrum, new books are brought out. As your job is printed and the first few pages come off the press, the printer can stand with the book and match the colours to confirm that the correct colour has been hit. He does this throughout the print run.

A Pantone swatch book is an insurance that a printer has and is an invaluable tool of his trade, which can help ensure a perfect print run and colour match for your job every time. Experience the best Barney’s has to offer in all things print by contacting them to get a free quote.