PMS Color Printing System & CMYK Process Printing

CMYK Color Printing vs PMS Color System featured in MarkIt Merchandise's screen print and embroidery blog.


What is the PMS Color Printing System?


Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a numbered printing system that creates consistency in color reproduction. PMS colors are also referred to as Spot Colors.


Standardizing colors by using numbers is helpful for customers and manufacturers in different locations because they can ensure that they are looking at the same colors. Colors look slightly different from computer to computer, so this takes the guesswork out of color identification.


What is CMYK Process Printing?


CMYK Process Printing (also referred to Full Color or 4-Color Printing) is created on the printing press by applying cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink colors to paper. By applying these four colors, you can create just about any color imaginable.


What Are They Used For?


Process Printing is most often used for printing things like brochures, flyers, books and postcards. Pantone colors are most often used for logos and company materials that must be the same color every time.


CMYK colors are transparent because they are made to be mixed to create new colors. PMS colors are opaque, because PMS colors are supposed to be used as standalone colors.


CMYK colors should be used if you are using four or more colors, because PMS colors have to be applied one at a time and should only be used for two to three colors.


If you’d like to peruse through hundreds of Pantone Color choices, check out the Pantone PMS color chart.





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