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Pantone Color Callouts

What is a Pantone Color?

Pantone colors are the “world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries” (Pantone).

Monitors and printers are calibrated differently and as a result, what you see on your monitor isn’t always a perfect representation of what’s actually printed. Computers and printers also work in different color gamuts – this means that they can reach different ranges of color as they use different colors. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, while RGB stands for red, green, and blue. RGB work with light-based colors, and CMYK works with ink-based colors. While gamuts do overlap in some instances, there are certain colors that cannot be reached with the other; as a result this can lead to differences in what you expected the color to be and what the printed color is.  Pantone colors can help ensure your colors are correct every time.

When should Pantone Colors be used?

Branding: Pantone colors are useful when your company is branded with specific colors and has other matching materials that have been printed in these colors. This is what Chipotle, for example, might do when ordering the 10ft Tru-Fit Curved Trade Show Display along with a 6ft Ultra-Fit Printed Table Throw Cover.

Vector-Based Artwork:  Vectors can use Pantone colors by selecting the needed coated Pantone as the applied color. Pantones come in a variety of different formats for different printing styles, but coated Pantones align the best with our printers’ processes.

Our printers will use their Pantone booklets to run test prints until the printer is calibrated to reach the same color as the artwork. These Pantone booklets are purchased from Pantone and are used worldwide as color standards.

When should Pantone Colors not be used?

Gradients: Pantone colors cannot be used for artwork with gradients. This is because the colors are merging from one Pantone color to another. An example of a gradient that is not able to use a Pantone color call-out can be seen in the online sample image of our 8ft Perfect-Pop Straight Portable Marketing Exhibit.

Photos: Pantone colors cannot be used to match specific colors within a photograph.

Important Notes

1) All Pantone colors applied to vector-based artwork should be coated.

2) Pantone colors should be applied to the vector-based artwork prior to sending the artwork in.

3) It’s unnecessary to select a Pantone color for every graphic element on the display unless it is being used alongside other branded material that is of the same color.

4) If you’d like to use Pantones, but don’t have your own graphic designer to set them up in your display, our team of talented designers can take care of that for you! Check out the Design Services we offer from one of our fantastically creative in-house designers HERE.

Please reach out to a member of our graphics team with any questions at 888.315.9617 or

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