/PANTONE 2017 (EMEA)
/PANTONE 2017 (EMEA)

Pantone Numbering Explained

13/11/2017

Colour Intelligence:

Each Pantone Matching System Colour uses a unique coding scheme. This key will help you find which System a particular Pantone Colour 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 Colours for printing ink on paper. The majority of these colours are referred to using a three- or four-digit number followed by a C or U. There are also a small number of named colours, such as the 18 base colours 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 Colours

Pantone Metallics

(examples: PANTONE 877 C, PANTONE 8244 C)

Pantone Metallics Colours 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 Colours.

Pantone Premium Metallics

(example: PANTONE 10286 C)

Pantone Premium Metallics Colours 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 Colours.

Pantone Pastels & Neons

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

Pantone Pastels & Neons Colours are referenced using either a three- or four-digit number beginning with “9”. There are two exceptions: The neon base colours, which are three-digit numbers beginning with “8”, and the pastel base colours, which are named with a descriptive colour name, followed by a four-digit number that begins with “0”. Each colour 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–Colour Process

Pantone CMYK / 4–Colour 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 colours that bear no relationship to the Pantone Matching System. Pantone Process Colour 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 Colours

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 Colours and their closest four-colour process equivalent. The process simulation is identified by using the solid colour'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-colour simulations of the solid (spot) Pantone Matching System Colours printed on coated stock. The majority of these colours are referred to using a three- or four-digit number followed by an XGC. There are also a small number of named colours, such as the seven base colours 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 Colours 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)

Colour 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 Colour References and Colour Standards. Each colour also has colour name reference as a secondary identifier.

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

Pantone Colours for Coatings

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

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

Colour 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 colour reference. The “G” in TPG stands for “Green”, indicating that the 2,310 colours were created from new, more Earth-friendly formulations. Each colour also has colour name reference as a secondary identifier.

Pantone Plastics


Pantone Plastics Selector Chips

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

Pantone Plastics Selector colour 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 colours, respectively.

Pantone Plastic Standard Chips (large plastic chips)

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

Pantone Plastic Standard Chips are matched to the colours in the Pantone Matching System or Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors Colour 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 Colours are denoted by a PQ, followed by a dash and the three- or four-digit colour number (corresponding to the PMS Colour) plus a “C”.

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