Pantones, CMYK, RGB and HEX… What to use?

Pantone® Colors are spot colors that belong to a standardized color reproduction system. This system was created to establish consistency throughout multiple PRINTED products and producers.

But what is a spot color? It is any single pure or mixed ink color. CMYK is made up of four spot colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key or Black). The full Pantone system has 1,114 single spot colors, which are created using thirteen base pigments.

Let’s say that for your color palette the CMYK, RBG, and HEX pieces of information are enough. Here’s what you need to know… If you dealing with the colors yourself, for PRINT use the CMYK. For digital – everything on a screen, use the HEX (the number with the #). If you are sending your colors to somebody and you have the Pantone number, send the Pantone. If you don’t have it, the HEX works too, but sometimes the tones are a little different when printed.

This is the Color information non-designers entrepreneurs need to know. 😉

So… Before sending your Brand colors to someone, follow this little guide:

Pantone®
Use: Printing
For offset printing only. Ideal for stationery. Often used in one or two-color jobs. Also used as spot colors on premium brochures in addition to four-color process.


CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black)
Use: Printing
Use in offset and digital printing. Ideal for full-color brochures, flyers, posters, and postcards, etc.

RGB (red, green, blue)
Use: On screen > TV and DISPLAYS

HEX (hexadecimal color)
Use: On screen for websites

The whole point is to live life and be – to use all the colors in the crayon box. 

– RuPaul