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How do I find my pantone color?

Determining your personal Pantone color can be a fun way to identify a shade that represents your personality and style. Pantone is a standardized color matching system used extensively in design, printing, and manufacturing industries. With thousands of colors in the Pantone Matching System, finding your perfect hue may seem daunting. However, there are a few simple steps you can follow to determine your ideal Pantone color.

Understand How Pantone Works

The Pantone Color Matching System is a proprietary color space that allows designers, manufacturers, and printers to ensure color consistency across materials and mediums. The system includes over 1,100 solid colors that are given a specific code or number identifier. For example, PANTONE 12-4103 TPX is a particular shade of blue. When a designer specifies PANTONE 12-4103 TPX for a project, any manufacturers or printers will be able to recreate that precise blue by matching it to the same Pantone code. This helps eliminate issues with colors appearing differently on screen versus print or varying between productions.

Pantone releases new color collections twice a year based on trends and demand. In addition to solid colors, there are also specialty selections like pastels, neons, metallics, and skin tone ranges. Individual Pantone colors can be purchased in standardized fan guides or chip books for designers and creative professionals. For consumers, Pantone offers specialized products like color selectors and swatch books so anyone can find their perfect shade.

Decide Your Color Purpose

Before browsing Pantone colors, think about how you want to use your chosen shade. Here are some common reasons people select a personal Pantone color:

  • Represent your personality
  • Match your brand or style
  • Coordinate your visual identity across mediums
  • Give projects a consistent look
  • Show school or team spirit
  • Promote a cause or organization
  • Unify wedding colors

Your purpose can guide which sets or palettes you look at. For example, if you want a color reflecting your energetic spirit, you may focus on bright vivid tones. Or if you need wedding colors, pastel shades may suit your theme. Defining a goal will help narrow your search.

Determine Your Tones

Pantone colors cover the entire spectrum, but some hues naturally appeal more. Consider what tone families bring you joy or align with your purpose. Here are some options:

  • Warm tones like red, orange, yellow – Energetic and cheerful
  • Cool tones like blue, green, purple – Calming and reserved
  • Neutrals like brown, beige, gray – Simple and flexible
  • Pastels like soft pink, mint, sky – Gentle and romantic
  • Vivid brights like emerald, magenta, coral – Bold and adventurous
  • Metallic sheens like bronze, silver, gold – Glamorous and elegant

Focusing on tones you connect with will make finding your perfect match easier. You can further refine by saturation and brightness. For example, mute down a bright yellow for a vintage feel or amp up a jewel-tone for high-impact.

Browse Pantone Color Publications

Pantone produces fan guides and books that make viewing their vast color system simple. Here are some publications that allow you to see a wide selection of shades:

  • Pantone Formula Guide – Contains all 1,781 solid Pantone colors
  • Pantone Color Bridge – Displays the most popular 803 Pantone colors
  • Pantone Pastels & Neons Guide – Showcases 197 soft and vivid colors
  • Pantone Metallics Guide – Features 199 lustrous metallic colors
  • Pantone SkinTone Guide – 110 shades for graphic design and product development

Online, you can use the Pantone Color Finder tool to filter through all Pantone colors by color family, tone, industry usage, and more. If available, look through physical Pantone publications to get a true sense of the colors. The coated paper used allows accurate color visualization.

Select Colors that Speak to You

Fan through Pantone guides or online libraries and make note of shades that catch your eye. Look for colors that elicit a positive reaction or align with your personality. Consider colors you frequently wear or use in your home decor. Don’t overthink – your initial instincts will guide you to appealing tones.

Build a palette of your top color choices. Around five is ideal so you have flexibility but avoid being overwhelmed by options. Keeping possible colors visible allows you to compare in different lighting. Pantone suggests viewing colors at different times of day as light changes perception. Morning light often emphasizes cooler tones while incandescent bulbs bring warmth.

Get Color Samples

To truly evaluate colors, obtain physical Pantone samples. Most art supply stores sell affordably priced Pantone swatch books that provide removable chips of the most popular 100 – 200 colors. Or you can purchase individual swatches through Pantone’s online store or sites like Amazon. Larger sample books offer more shades but are pricier.

With samples in hand, you can view colors in your actual environment. Tape swatches to a wall painted your current color. See how lighting interacts throughout the day. Drape fabric swatches around your space. View colors next to your skin tone. Samples allow tactile comparing to find what works best.

Test Colors Digitally

In addition to physical samples, digitally test colors using Pantone’s tools:

  • Pantone Color Manager – Upload a photo to overlay Pantone colors
  • Pantone Color Finder – Create custom palettes with digital swatches
  • Pantone Connect – Integrates your preferred colors into design apps

Many design programs like Adobe Creative Suite also include the full Pantone color library. You can create mockups applying Pantone colors to see how they look on products or branding. Experimenting digitally takes the guesswork out of choosing.

Select Your Personal Pantone Colors

Once you’ve evaluated physical and digital samples, it’s time to select your Pantone colors! Here are tips for choosing:

  • Pick 1 core color that represents your personality or style
  • Choose 2-3 supporting colors in the same tone family
  • Consider multipurpose shades like neutrals as alternates
  • Add contrast with darker and lighter versions of your main color
  • Pick colors that look pleasing together in a palette

Having a main Pantone color along with coordinating shades allows endless mixing and matching. You may also realize you’re drawn to multiple color families, like both warm reds and cool blues. Pantone mixing sets make blending color families easy. Avoid choosing more than 5 colors total to keep your palette cohesive.

Find Official Pantone Numbers

Once decided on your perfect Pantone match, note the precise Pantone number. This allows consistent recreation of the color when needed for printing projects, graphic design, web design, manufacturing, and more. You can reference official Pantone publications either online or in print. Or use Pantone’s digital tools to extract the color codes.

Here are the key Pantone color identifiers:

Pantone Code Example What It Indicates
PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue 19-4052 The Color Number identifies the exact pigment blend.
TPX PANTONE 19-4052 TPX The color paper stock used in fan guides.
C PANTONE 19-4052 C Marks colors from the coated guide with a glossy finish.
U PANTONE 19-4052 U Indicates colors from the uncoated guide with a matte finish.

Note all the identifiers like TPX and C or U to call out your chosen color correctly. The unique Pantone number ensures accurate matching every time.

Find Corresponding Codes in Other Color Systems

Pantone also provides conversion tables letting you find equivalent colors in other standardized color models like CMYK or RGB. This allows designers and programmers to adapt your Pantone shade into designs using non-Pantone color libraries. Use the guides below to convert:

Color Model What It Is Conversion Tables
CMYK Colors used for 4-color printing press. Pantone+ CMYK Guide
RGB Red, green, blue light model used online and digitally. Pantone Color Bridge Guide RGB values
HEX Hexadecimal web color codes used in HTML and CSS. Pantone Color Manager or Adobe Color

Professional designers can best determine needed conversions, but knowing equivalent codes helps you use your Pantone color everywhere.

Use Your Personal Pantone Colors

Once you’ve gone through the selection process, put your personalized Pantone colors to use! Here are some ways to incorporate your shades across design, branding, fashion, and more:

  • Add colors to your website or graphics
  • Produce custom printed materials and signage
  • Develop product prototypes and packaging
  • Create presentations, stationery, and brochures
  • Paint walls or accent furniture
  • Commission fabric for custom clothing
  • Produce embellished invitations, decor, and accessories
  • Purchase planners, tech accessories, and tools in your hue

Your unique Pantone color palette offers endless possibilities to make items distinctly your own. Referencing official Pantone codes guarantees color accuracy as you use your signature shades.

Purchase Official Pantone Products

In addition to professional design applications, Pantone offers licensed consumer products to display your colors:

  • Pantone Mugs and Water Bottles – Available in 40 top Pantone Colors
  • Pantone Phone Cases – Over 100 models for Apple, Samsung, Google
  • Pantone Posters and Wall Decor – Vintage travel posters in iconic Pantone colors
  • Pantone Apparel and Accessories – Totes, scarves, hats, jewelry in a rainbow of hues
  • Pantone Home Decor – Pillows, mugs, trays, and more
  • Pantone Stationery – Notebooks, stickers, pens, paper in special Pantone collections

For one-of-a-kind personalized products, Pantone also partners with Casetify to offer custom phone cases. You can design your own case with your exact Pantone color integrated.


Finding your personal Pantone colors provides a fun way to define hues representing your style and personality. By understanding the Pantone system, considering your color purpose, viewing physical and digital samples, and referencing official Pantone guides, you can select signature shades that speak to you. Your customized color palette can then be integrated across design projects, merchandise, fashion pieces, branding, decorating, and more. Pantone’s standardized system ensures your special colors are accurately implemented whenever and wherever you need. So embrace the rainbow and find colors that authentically reflect who you are!