/PANTONE 2017 (APAC)
/PANTONE 2017 (APAC)

Pantone Numbering Explained

11/3/2017

Color Intelligence:

Each Pantone Matching System Color uses a unique coding scheme. This key will help you find which System a particular Pantone Color number or name is associated with:

Pantone for Graphics and Multimedia


Pantone Matching System® Coated or Uncoated

(examples: PANTONE 185 C, PANTONE Cool Gray 1 U)

Pantone Formula Guides and Solid Chips contain 1,867 solid (spot) Pantone Matching System Colors for printing ink on paper. The majority of these colors are referred to using a three- or four-digit number followed by a C or U. There are also a small number of named colors, such as the 18 base colors like PANTONE Reflex Blue C or PANTONE Orange 021 U. The letter suffix refers to the paper stock on which it is printed: a “C” for coated or gloss paper or a “U” for uncoated paper.

Pantone Specialty Solid Colors

Pantone Metallics

(examples: PANTONE 877 C, PANTONE 8244 C)

Pantone Metallics Colors are referenced using either a three- or four-digit number that begins with “8”, followed by a “C” to indicate a coated paper stock. There is no uncoated version of Pantone Metallics Colors.

Pantone Premium Metallics

(example: PANTONE 10286 C)

Pantone Premium Metallics Colors are referenced using a five-digit number that begins with “10”, followed by a “C” to indicate coated paper stock. There is no uncoated version of Pantone Premium Metallics Colors.

Pantone Pastels & Neons

(examples: PANTONE 915 U, PANTONE Yellow 0131 C)

Pantone Pastels & Neons Colors are referenced using either a three- or four-digit number beginning with “9”. There are two exceptions: The neon base colors, which are three-digit numbers beginning with “8”, and the pastel base colors, which are named with a descriptive color name, followed by a four-digit number that begins with “0”. Each color has a suffix that indicates the type of paper stock on which it is printed: a “C” for coated or gloss paper or a “U” for uncoated paper.

CMYK / Four–Color Process

Pantone CMYK / 4–Color Process Guides Coated, Uncoated

(examples: PANTONE P 11-4 C, PANTONE P 69-15 U).

These guides offer an independent collection of nearly 3,000 CMYK colors that bear no relationship to the Pantone Matching System. Pantone Process Color numbers start with the letter P followed by a one- to three-digit number, a dash, and a one- to two-digit number. The “C” suffix indicates coated stock and the “U” uncoated.

Process Simulations of Solid Pantone Colors

Pantone Color Bridge Coated or Uncoated

(example: PANTONE 185 CP, PANTONE 425 UP)

This guide provides side-by-side printed comparisons of solid Pantone Matching System Colors and their closest four-color process equivalent. The process simulation is identified by using the solid color's name or number, followed by “CP” for coated or “UP” for uncoated.

Pantone Extended Gamut Coated Guide

(examples: PANTONE 7662 XGC, PANTONE 347 XGC)

The Pantone Extended Gamut Coated guide contains 1,729 seven-color simulations of the solid (spot) Pantone Matching System Colors printed on coated stock. The majority of these colors are referred to using a three- or four-digit number followed by an XGC. There are also a small number of named colors, such as the seven base colors like PANTONE Process Magenta C or PANTONE XG Orange C.

The letter suffix refers to the type of process: “XG” for Extended Gamut and a “C” for the coated or gloss paper on which it is printed.

Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors


Pantone Colors for Textiles

Fashion, Home + Interiors Cotton Passport, Cotton Planner, Cotton Chip Set, Cotton Swatch Library, SMART Cotton Swatch Cards

(examples: PANTONE 14–4510 TCX Aquatic, PANTONE 15–1247 TCX Tangerine)

Color reference numbers in this system contain two digits followed by a dash and four digits with a TCX suffix. The “C” in TCX stands for Cotton, the material of choice for the 2,310 Pantone Textile Color References and Color Standards. Each color also has color name reference as a secondary identifier.

Textile colors with a TN suffix refer to the 21 Pantone Nylon Brights colors. Nylon Brights colors are dyed on nylon fabric to provide the most accurate representation of these bright and fluorescent colors. Each color also has color name reference as a secondary identifier.

Pantone Colors for Coatings

Fashion, Home + Interiors Color Guide, Color Specifier and Guide Set

(examples: PANTONE 17-1462 TPG Flame, PANTONE 17-4540 TPG Hawaiian Ocean)

Color reference numbers in this system contain two digits followed by a dash and four digits with a TPG (formerly TPX) suffix. TPG indicates a lacquer-on-paper color reference. The “G” in TPG stands for “Green”, indicating that the 2,310 colors were created from new, more Earth-friendly formulations. Each color also has color name reference as a secondary identifier.

Pantone Plastics


Pantone Plastics Selector Chips

(examples: PANTONE Q270–2–4, PANTONE T925–5–5)

Pantone Plastics Selector color references are denoted by a Q or a T followed by a three–digit number, a dash, and two single digits separated by a dash. The Q and T signify opaque and transparent colors, respectively.

Pantone Plastic Standard Chips (large plastic chips)

(examples: PANTONE PQ-185C, PQ-19-4007TCX)

Pantone Plastic Standard Chips are matched to the colors in the Pantone Matching System or Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors Color System. The chips have two levels of thickness and are made using Polypropylene resin.

Pantone Plastic Standard Chips that are matched to Pantone Matching System Colors are denoted by a PQ, followed by a dash and the three- or four-digit color number (corresponding to the PMS Color) plus a “C”.

Pantone Plastic Standard Chips color references that are matched to the Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors Color System are denoted by a PQ, followed by a dash and the corresponding Fashion, Home + Interiors color number (two digits, a dash, then four digits), plus the TCX suffix.