Swatches, Colours and Finishes.

Pantones are premixed colours that are an exact identification. It is a globally used system and are most commonly used in logo to define an exact colour. Industry recognised physical swatch book of colours. They have a reference number and a recipe formula which instructs a printer how to mix the colours.

A full list of Pantones can be found at http://www.pantone-colours.com/

Pantone colours can be called PMS colours but more commonly referred to as ‘Spot Colours’. A book £120 for just one book of variety of colours.

You can define pantones with gloss varnish areas, Die-cut (where a shape is cut out e.g. a circle), Foiling, Embossing, Kiss-cut (stickers) or anything you want to define as an individual.

Pantones print differently to a printer since there are not CMYK.

Not all file types can use spot colour information. RGB formats have no use for spot colours, so •PNG •GIF •JPG don’t support colours.

We looked into three famous pantone colours being:

  • Minion yellow
  • Coca-cola red
  • NHS blue

In Indesign and Photoshop we were told to get a photo and swatch the colours. I used the picker tool and I also tried using Abode Capture, an app on IOS. gabrielle-aplin-colour-swatch


I really enjoyed this tutorial. It was very informative and easy to follow.

How it can be used in Graphic Design:

This process can be used a lot to define palettes for documents or illustrations.


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