The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a standardized color system, utilizing the Pantone color chart for identifying colors. By assigning a unique numeric code to each color, printers can easily ensure color accuracy. This color system serves as the standard for much of the printing industry with its lists of thousands of colors and identifying codes.
Before the PMS was created in the 1960’s, the standard for printing was CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). Where we all grew up knowing yellow and blue make green and yellow and red make orange, the printing industry grew up knowing that varying the quantities of cyan, magenta, yellow and black creates an endless array of colors to print. There can be so much variation in color using CMYK that Pantone set out to create a system that allowed for consistent color. This way a designer can create a logo that will print consistently from job to job and printer to printer.