Standard Printing Inks

The Pantone Color Matching System is largely a standardized color reproduction system. By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colors match without direct contact with one another.

One such use is standardizing colors in the CMYK process. The CMYK process is a method of printing color by using four inks — cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. A majority of the world's printed material is produced using the CMYK process, and there is a special subset of Pantone colors that can be reproduced using CMYK . Those that are possible to simulate through the CMYK process are labeled as such within the company's PMS guides.

However, most of the Pantone system's 1,114 spot colors cannot be simulated with CMYK but with 13 base pigments (15 including white and black) mixed in specified amounts.

The Pantone system also allows for many special colors to be produced, such as metallics and fluorescents. Pantone colors are described by their allocated number (typically referred to as, for example, "PMS 130"). PMS colors are almost always used in branding. Some examples would be Coca Cola Red is PMS 186 and the Home Depot Orange is PMS 165.

APPLE Printing Company can’t stock all PMS numbers, but we do stock some. In the chart to the right, you will find the list of inks that we do stock. If you have a project that calls for a certain color we probably stock something very close. By choosing a stock color you can save money by avoiding having to hand mix the ink.