A Pantone color guide book is an extremely important tool to have in any custom screen printing shop. Pantone colors is the universal language for communicating specific colors right down to the shade. This language overcomes distances and computer monitors with different calibrations. If both parties involved in a project are looking at a Pantone book, referencing the exact number, both parties can rest assured that they are on the same page.
Brand guidelines define specific colors of logos in terms of Pantones. Designers call out Pantone colors in their work so the image can be re-created exactly from digital media to print and embroidery. As decorators, we live and die by Pantone colors. However, the language of Pantone colors translates a little differently between screen print and embroidery like a different dialect between the mediums of decoration.
Ink manufacturers work differently than thread manufacturers. Although it’s possible to buy premixed colors, ink manufacturers have developed ink mixing systems that are used to create Pantone matching inks colors for print. We keep common colors on the shelf, but for more unique shades, it’s no problem to custom mix it.
An important thing to note when referencing Pantone colors and screen printing inks is that the inks can still vary slightly despite the exact nature of the formulas. This depends on the color of garment being printed, material we are printing on, and whether or not we need to print a white under base.