When it comes to printing, PMS is a good thing!  When that time of the month rolls around for your business’s next printing project, consider the benefits of the Pantone Matching System (PMS) printing method.  Other print methods include CMYK (also known as 4 Color and Process Color printing) and Digital printing, but depending on your needs PMS can be your best option.

What is PMS (Pantone Matching System)?

PMS is a proprietary, standardized color reproduction system used primarily by the printing industry for specifying colors and printer’s recipes for mixing inks from base pigments.  This standardization allows different designers and printers  to refer to the Pantone System to better ensure  consistent color matching.  PMS offers 1,114 unique colors produced by mixing 13 base pigments in various amounts.

Why use PMS Printing?

Color Consistency – PMS helps to ensures that your colors will print consistently.  This is important with branding and marketing.  Consider a company like Coca-Cola and the importance of maintaining a consistent “Red” across their branding and marketing portfolio.  In addition, when producing multiple printed marketing pieces, it is important that your company colors are maintained.  For example consider the importance of your logo/company colors being consistent across business cards, stationary, brochures, flyers, direct mailers,  etc.  PMS printing also helps maintain consistency when using multiple printers and suppliers for printed materials.

Color Quality and Detail – PMS offers the rich colors and sharp details.

Cost Effective – Often a more cost effective solution when printing fewer than 4 colors.

PMS Color Guides – Pantone releases color swatch books that display color as printed.  PMS swatch books also give information on other color system equivalents such as CMYK and RGB.

PMS Limitations

Most cost effective when using fewer than 4 colors

Cannot reproduce full color images like photographs


Keep in mind that while PMS helps ensure the consistency of the ink color, the media you are printing on can still effect the end result.  The color, texture and finish of the paper/media can change the color presentation.  For best results consult your designer and/or printer for advice on best practices.