McDonald’s Golden Arches™, Coca-Cola’s red logo, IKEA’s signature blue and yellow logo—all of these companies and many more use color to maintain a consistent and readily identifiable image. But, how does a global company like McDonald’s ensure that their trademarked logo printed on packaging in Japan matches the color used on signage here in the US?
Enter the Pantone® Matching System®, known to many as PMS or simply Pantone colors. First created in 1963 by Lawrence Herbert, the Pantone system has become the worldwide trusted source for the art and science of color. According to www.pantone.com, Herbert was “fascinated by the challenge of developing a universal color specification system.” He set out to create universal color standards and succeeded with incredible results. PMS colors are now used in many different industries, including digital technology, textiles and fashion, plastics, paint, architecture, and (of course) printing.
Forecasting colors for upcoming years has become big business for Pantone. Insight into what colors consumers will find desirable is of the utmost importance to the fashion and interior decorating industries. What clothing colors will consumers want next year? What paint colors will be hot? What colors will fall out of favor? As if looking into a crystal ball, the color masters at Pantone can offer these forecasts with remarkable accuracy. According to www.pantoneuniverse.com, the upcoming hot colors in fashion include “Nourishing” and “Recharging” colors. These new colors have names like Winetasting, Beet Red, Pinecone, Medal Bronze, Darkest Spruce, and Fennel Seed. Coming soon to stores near you!
Additionally, the printing industry relies on Pantone for accurately matching colors as they run on press. Press operators mix the inks as they are needed according to the specific formulas indicated in the Pantone color guides. For example, if your logo consists of a reddish color called PMS 201, the pressman printing your job would know exactly what color that is and be able to match it exactly. For nearly everyone in the printing industry, the guesswork behind creating and matching colors has been taken out of the formula. Color consistency is the rule, not the exception.
A few tips for using color in your marketing efforts:
1. Keep your colors, design, and message clean and concise. Overusing color can be hard for a customer to read or understand. (Just think of those websites that make poor use of color and muddy their messages.)
2. Use your chosen colors consistently. If you have picked out a Pantone color, be sure that your printer or webmaster is aware of it. That way you can be assured that your celadon green logo doesn’t print as forest green.
3. Ask the experts. If you want to explore new color possibilities for your logo or overall company image, consult with Tingalls Design. Their staff can help move your small business to a new level of marketing and communications. Your marketing will have more impact, your mailings will be more noticeable, and your business will look more even more professional.