Define printing colors (PMS)
Choosing a (PMS) printing colour
What are PMS colours?
With offset printing there are two types of colour: FC (full colour) and PMS. Full colour means you use four colours that mix during printing to make any colour you like. The four colours are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Kobalt/black – CMYK. Some colours are easier to achieve this way than others.
PMS stands for Pantone Matching System. Pantone is the name of the company that publishes the colour codes and the Matching System is the way of mixing colour to exact specifications. Pantone publishes a colour swatch where each colour has a unique number. If you want to have a specific colour printed it’s wise to use the Pantone swatch.
Digital vs. Offset
In digital printing you can only use FC (CMYK). In offset printing you can also use a PMS colour, for example to ensure you get a specific colour for a company logo or to save costs. The reason you might save costs is that instead of using four printing colours (CMYK) you only use two printing colours (black and PMS), which can still give the illusion of full colour printing and enliven the design of your book or thesis.
Choosing a colour
The button below will take you to a digital PMS-swatch. Please note: if the colour has to be very precise (or you really want it to be) never pick a colour based on what you see on a screen! Every screen will display the colours differently because of different settings and there is a difference between a screen colour and a printed colour. We advise you to always pick your PMS colour from a printed swatch so you can be sure that the colour you pick will be the exact colour in your print work.
PMS swatch: Pantone colours