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Is there a Pantone cyan?

Yes, there is a Pantone cyan color. The Pantone Matching System is a standardized color reproduction system used in various industries like printing, manufacturing, textiles, plastics etc. Pantone has over 1,100 solid colors in its palette including a cyan shade simply called Pantone Cyan.

About Pantone and the PMS Colors

Pantone Inc. is a U.S based company that specializes in color consultation and color matching services. In 1963, they created the first Pantone Matching System (PMS) Color guide which contained a standardized palette of several hundred colors. This allowed designers, printers and manufacturers to match colors exactly during the production process. Over time more colors were added taking the total to 1,114 solid Pantone colors today.

Each Pantone color is identified by a unique number and name combination. For example Pantone 1225 C is called Pantone Cyan. This makes cross referencing and accurate color matching easier across different materials and finishes. The guide also specifies the CMYK formulas needed to reproduce each color when printing in 4-color process.

Pantone Cyan – 1225 C

The Pantone cyan shade is designated as 1225 C in the Pantone Matching System. 1225 C has the following specifications:

Pantone Reference 1225 C
Name Cyan
CMYK Composition 100C 0M 0Y 0K
RGB Composition 0R 255G 255B
Hex Color Code #00FFFF

As seen from the specifications, Pantone 1225 C cyan is composed of 100% cyan pigment. In the CMYK color model, it contains 100% cyan ink only. The resulting RGB color is (0,255,255) which translates to the hex code #00FFFF.

Characteristics of Pantone Cyan

What does Pantone cyan look like? Here are some key characteristics of this shade:

  • It is a bright, vivid cyan shade leaning towards the greenish side
  • The high saturation makes it quite an intense, eye-catching color
  • It appears cooler and more “electric” compared to primary printer’s cyan
  • Works very well for displays, graphics, packaging, and accents
  • Lends a modern, energetic look when used prominently

In general, Pantone cyan is a great choice when a striking, radiant cyan tone is desired. It has excellent visual impact owing to its high chroma and pure cyan composition.

Comparison with Process Cyan

How does Pantone cyan compare to regular process cyan used in 4-color CMYK printing? There are some notable differences:

  • Process cyan is a weaker, more muted shade. Pantone cyan is much more vivid and saturated in appearance.
  • Pantone cyan leans slightly towards green whereas process cyan is a pure primary cyan.
  • Process cyan on white paper appears as a sky blue. Pantone cyan retains its bright greenish cyan color.
  • Pantone cyan provides a wider gamut and electric look. Process cyan has lower chromaticity.

In summary, Pantone cyan is a bolder, pure, enhanced cyan versus process cyan. It has higher chroma and hue accuracy. If an intense cyan is needed, Pantone cyan is the better choice.

Use Cases

Here are some common use cases where Pantone 1225 C cyan delivers great visual impact:

  • Graphics, logos, branding elements
  • Packaging and labels
  • Web, mobile UI, and game design
  • Apparel silk screening
  • Signage
  • Print projects requiring spot color matching

Pantone cyan pops against black or white backgrounds. Combining it with shades like yellow, purple and red creates bright, fun color schemes. The vividness also makes it ideal for highlighting key text and UI elements.


In summary, Pantone Cyan (1225 C) is a standardized and optimized cyan tone as part of the Pantone Matching System. It provides a brighter, more saturated cyan compared to process cyan and gives excellent visual impact owing to its pure pigmentation. This makes it a great choice whenever a striking and intense cyan is desired, especially for displays, packaging, graphics and accents.