Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Modern Color Classification System
The Pantone Matching System
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wsiniowski

This is the twelfth blog in the "Art Resource" series, specifically aimed to construct an appropriate knowledge base in order to develop an artistic voice in ArtCloth. Other posts in this series are:
Glossary of Terms
Units Used In Dyeing And Printing Of Fabrics
Occupational, Health & Safety
A Brief History Of Color
The Nature Of Color
Psychology of Color
Color Schemes
The Naming Of Colors
The Munsell Color Classification System
Methuen Color Index And Classification System
The CIE System
Optical Properties of Fiber Materials
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part I
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part II
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part III
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part IV
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part V
Protein Fibers - Wool
Protein Fibers - Speciality Hair Fibers
Protein Fibers - Silk
Protein Fibers - Wool versus Silk
Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff
Cellulosic Fibers (Natural) - Cotton
Cellulosic Fibers (Natural) - Linen
Other Natural Cellulosic Fibers
General Overview of Man-Made Fibers
Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers - Viscose
Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers - Esters
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Nylon
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Polyester
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Acrylic and Modacrylic
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Olefins
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Elastomers
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Mineral Fibers
Man Made Fibers - Other Textile Fibers
Fiber Blends
From Fiber To Yarn: Overview - Part I
From Fiber to Yarn: Overview - Part II
Melt-Spun Fibers
Characteristics of Filament Yarn
Yarn Classification
Direct Spun Yarns
Textured Filament Yarns
Fabric Construction - Felt
Fabric Construction - Nonwoven Fabrics
A Fashion Data Base
Fiber Construction - Leather
Fabric Construction - Films
Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins
Fabric Construction – Foams and Poromeric Material
Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns
Weaving and the Loom
Similarities and Differences in Woven Fabrics
The Three Basic Weaves - Plain Weave (Part I)
The Three Basic Weaves - Plain Weave (Part II)
The Three Basic Weaves - Twill Weave
The Three Basic Weaves - Satin Weave
Figured Weaves - Leno Weave
Figured Weaves – Piqué Weave
Figured Fabrics
Glossary of Art, Artists, Art Motifs and Art Movements

The Glossary of Terms, Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff, A Fashion Data Base, Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins, Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns and Glossary of Art, Artists, Art Motifs and Art Movements have been updated in order to better inform your art practice.

If you find any post on this blog site useful, you can save it or copy and paste it into your own "Word" document etc. for your future reference. For example, Safari allows you to save a post (e.g. click on "File", click on "Print" and release, click on "PDF" and then click on "Save As" and release - and a PDF should appear where you have stored it). Safari also allows you to mail a post to a friend (click on "File", and then point cursor to "Mail Contents On This Page" and release). Either way, this or other posts on this site may be a useful Art Resource for you.

The Art Resource series will be the first post in each calendar month. Remember - these Art Resource posts span information that will be useful for a home hobbyist to that required by a final year University Fine-Art student and so undoubtedly, some parts of any Art Resource post may appear far too technical for your needs (skip over those mind boggling parts) and in other parts, it may be too simplistic with respect to your level of knowledge (ditto the skip). The trade-off between these two extremes will mean that Art Resource posts will hopefully be useful in parts to most, but unfortunately may not be satisfying to all!

It is clear that classifying colors with historical names is fraught with confusion and moreover, is extremely limited in scope. For example, the definition of Berlin Blue is given in the Glossary of Terms and Fabrics as:

Berlin Blue (pigment) (CI - 21F7): Prussian blue; term used especially in France. Made from inorganic pigment - ferric ferrocyanide. It was discovered in 1704 by Diesbach in Berlin and by Milori in Paris in 1704. Other names are bronze blue, Milori blue, Paris blue, steel blue. Prussian blue and Berlin blue date from 1724; Milori blue and Paris blue from about 1800.

Color of Berlin Blue. Under the Methuen Handbook of Color. Its color index is 21F7.

Today, computer platforms such as Macs and PCs can display millions of colors. Hence, the classification of color is a serious professional or vocational endeavor. Knowing which particular green to use - out of a possible forty greens that are at one’s disposal – one needs to be fluent with a color language, and that means you will need to choose a color system.

There are many color systems at one’s disposal (e.g. Munsell, Methuen and CIE). A modern color system that is widely in use is the Pantone Matching System (PMS). Lawrence Herbert, who later bought the company, introduced PMS in 1963. The motivation behind the development of PMS was to allow designers to "color match" specific colors when a design entered the production stage - regardless of the equipment used that produced the color. PMS has been widely adopted by the commercial art industry, graphic designers, reproduction and printing houses, textile and fabric companies.

Pantone recommends that “PMS Color Guides” be purchased annually, as their inks may become yellowish over time. Color variance may occur within editions if different paper stocks are employed (e.g. gloss, matte or uncoated), while inter-edition color variance may occur if there are chemical changes made to the specific paper stock (e.g. production variations in paper coatings etc.)

A solid matte formula guide from Pantone (Edition, 2005).

Pantone Color Matching System
The Pantone Color Matching System (PMS) is largely a standardized color reproduction system. By standardizing colors, different manufacturers in different geographical locations can refer to PMS in order to ensure that their colors match one another, without needing further communications.

One such use is standardizing colors in the CMYK system, which is a four-color system (e.g. cyan, magenta, yellow, black) process. Note: Black is denoted the symbol “K” instead of “B” to avoid confusion with other colors such as “Blue”. The “K” symbol is indicative that black is a “key” color since its use is to lighten or darken colors generated by using mixtures of cyan, magenta and yellow.

CMYK four-color process used in printing.

Process colors are created using screens of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. They are used in creating four-color process images, just like the images above.

A majority of the world's printed material is produced using the CMYK process. 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 guides. Over 3,000 Pantone process screen colors, and their screen values can be found in the Pantone process guide.

In the example above, Pantone 185 PC is printed as a solid by using Pantone 185 red ink. Specific percentages of cyan, magenta, yellow and black are used to create this color; that is, 0% screen of process cyan, 92% screen of process magenta, 76% screen of process yellow and 0% screen of process black - simulates Pantone 185 PC (red).

Most of the Pantone system's one thousand one hundred and fourteen (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.

Spot Colors are created using a print of a Pantone solid color - such as the image given above of Pantone 185C (red). Note: Pantone gives the Red, Blue and Green (RBG) screens in order to reproduce it on a computer screen. Pantone also gives the HTML hexadecimal number of the color in order for graphic designers to reproduce it using HTML code (see below) in the construction of websites etc.

If we compare how the same color looks as a spot color versus a process build color, the image below has Pantone 185 red solid on the left, and the CMYK build (92% screen of process Magenta, and 76% screen of process Yellow) on the right.

"Spot" color (left) versus "Build" color (right).

The colors do not match exactly, which is why Pantone have developed its color bridge. The Pantone color bridge has all the Pantone solid colors, side by side, with the CMYK color build on the right, so you know exactly how Pantone solid colors will look when reproduced in CMYK. They also give screen-based colors such as RGB (red, green and blue) and HTML (hyper text markup language) hexadecimal codes for web design.

RGB system. This system generates the colors on your computer screen.

Pantone colors are described by their allocated number (typically referred to as, for example, "PMS 130"). PMS colors are almost always used in branding and have even found their way into government legislation (to describe the colors of flags). In January 2003, the Scottish Parliament debated a petition to refer to the blue in the Scottish flag (saltire) as "Pantone 300". Countries such as Canada and South Korea and organizations such as the FIA have also chosen to refer to specific Pantone colors when producing flags. U.S.A. states - including Texas - have set legislated PMS colors of their flags.

The Lone Star (of Texas) Flag. Adopted on 25th January 1839. One third of the hoist is blue containing a single centered white star. The remaining field is divided horizontally into a white and a red bar. The flag was designed by C.B. Stewart. The table below rigorously specifies the color fields of the flag when using differing media.

RGB Values
Dark Red
193 C
Navy Blue
281 C

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