Your Guide to Pantone Matching (and why it matters!)

Color Emotion Guide

Sometimes you aren’t able to articulate it into words, but some brands just give you a certain feeling.  Nike may leave you feeling inspired, while Apple might make you feel creative and trendy.  A brand curates their advertisements and content to help portray their brand’s personality, but the biggest tool in their marketing toolbox is arguably their color pallet.

Although color is subjective and the way colors are interpreted varies depending on the person, generally certain colors have the power to evoke an emotion, and can even play a role in influencing purchasing decisions.  In fact, in the study Impact of Color in Marketing, researchers found that for some products “up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone.”

Let’s face it, being thoughtful about color choices for your branding is important.  Your color pallet plays a big role in differentiating your brand from competitors, so it is essential that your branding is uniform in all of your marketing efforts.

One way to ensure that your branding is accurate for your promotional products is to use exact Pantone matching. RGB and CMYK processes will get you close, but when protecting your brand’s integrity is paramount, Pantone matching is the way to go.

Imagine you are at the hardware store choosing a paint color for your home.  You have a selection of swatches and when you make your choice, your color is mixed right before your eyes. Now, imagine that exact same process, but for choosing the color for a hat you are wanting to put your logo on.  That’s a bit how Pantone matching works.  With new technology available, brands no longer have to settle for stock colors and call them “close enough”.


What is Pantone?
We’re going to get a bit technical here, but bear with us.  Pantone is a standardized color system consisting of thousands of pre-formulated colors to produce specific spot colors for your products and designs.  Each of the colors in their color matching system have a specific formula by weight that will produce the same color no matter who is mixing it.  When using Pantone colors for your products, you will be referencing a physical color swatch book or branding guidelines for your color choices.  Because Pantone colors are standardized, your promotional product will be produced to exactly match that physical color swatch.  Pretty cool right?

In a recent study done by the University of Loyola, Maryland, color was proven to be the top factor in brand recognition.  Chances are you would be able to pick the Walmart blue out of a lineup, and chances are you could probably recognize a Target billboard off in the distance based on the color alone.  This fact makes it increasingly more important for your promotional products to match your brand colors to a tee.  When you use specific Pantone colors, what you see is what you get every time.  Unlike RGB or CMYK colors, Pantone colors are specifically formulated before any printing is even done to produce the correct result.  You are actually getting a color that exactly matches your logo and branding which helps your marketing department maximize marketing spend and increase brand recognition among customers.

Color methods

The colors you chose for your company’s logo have a significant meaning – they go a long way in establishing your brand’s persona and evoking a feeling with the customer. Most Fortune 500 companies spend millions of dollars building out their brand guidelines and put months of thought into color theory and their logo.  Along with the main logo, they build out supporting pallets and make sure the colors come together in a cohesive and meaningful way.  Since brand color identification increases your brand recognition by 80%, precision is of the utmost importance!



Take the guesswork out of your promotional product giveaways and don’t settle for stock colored products anymore!  The creative possibilities are endless, so be sure the money spent on developing your logo and branding is put to good use.  Let’s put your branding to work to turn customers into fans of your brand.


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