There are many kinds of Pantone palettes. Most programs have embedded those palettes and you can choose colours through them.
Pantones two basic colour palettes (coated – uncoated)
But which is the best choice each time?
Solid colours: These colours are not produced through four-colour printing, but through solid inks placed in the machine. For example, when you want to print the red Pantone 032, it won’t be printed with yellow and magenta, but with the pantone 032 ink which is specially produced and provided by Pantone.
Coated: Coated paper without pores, like illustration, velvet, eurobulk etc. These papers can accurately render colours because they have this special coating.
Uncoated: Uncoated paper with pores, like offset, samoir, special papers. Due to their high absorbency, they cannot render colours accurately.
Now let’s see the Pantone palettes…
Metallic pantone palette
- Pantone solid coated. It’s the colour palette we have to choose when we want to use a solid ink and print on coated paper (illustration, velvet etc). It’s the palette we should basically use when using offset printers.
There is also the Pantone solid matte palette, which separates illustration from velvet paper. However, the colour yield divergence is not very wide. That’s why, when we want to use solid ink on coated paper, we should use the pantone solid coated palette to avoid being confused.
- Pantone solid uncoated. This is the palette we should choose each time we want to use solid ink on uncoated paper. Here I have to mention that pantone colours on uncoated paper render many colour divergences, and sometimes they’re quite obvious. So it would be best to consult a printed pantone swatch book and not a digital one on our computer before we print pantone colours on uncoated paper.
- Pantone metallic coated. It’s the palette we should use when we print with metallic colours on coated paper. In the case of metallic colours, there’s no uncoated pantone palette, because metallic colours cannot look right on uncoated paper. So when we want to use metallic colours, we should only use coated paper.
- Pantone pastel coated/uncoated. It’s the palette we should choose when we want to use very pale colours either on coated or uncoated paper. However it’s not very common, so it could simply be an alternative choice.
Pantone pastel colour palette
On some next post we’ll talk about the rest of the pantone types.
Since pantone swatches are quite costly, we should ask the typographer to show us the expected output on his own pantone swatch book, before we print a project. If we have to buy a pantone swatch book, we should start with the Pantone solid coated and then add the Pantone solid uncoated.
Pantone colour palettes