Pantone Colour Bridge Guide The Essential Tool For Every Designer and Printer

By Jim Cunliffe

Manufactured by the New Jersey based Pantone, Inc. the Pantone Colour Bridge Guide has the appearance of a giant fan of shallow rectangular strips. Each strip contains a set of various different shades of a particular colour. Adjacent to each Pantone colour, the nearest four colour (CMYK) equivalent is also reproduced. Note – whilst some Pantone colours can be reproduced from four colour process printing, many cannot be exactly replicated. This is why a Pantone colour bridge guide is the most important Pantone product on the market.

The four colour match is important for use within the printing industry (since most printing presses will use the 4 colour CMYK – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key Black – core/process colour technology). The Pantone Colour Bridge Guide also helpfully reproduces the CMYK percentages used for the screen tint, also web safe hex colours. Designers can be assisted with their colour choices because the guide also provides conversion formulae for multiple colour spaces.

If you work as a designer or printer, you will already be acutely aware that it is vital to maintain a uniformity of colour. The Colour Bridge Guide uses state of the art technology in order to create standardized shades with absolutely the highest degree of accuracy. The shades are printed on bright white paper, similar to that which is favoured by modern designers. Finally, the books have been designed to be durable, allowing a designer to transport and use them easily as guides when meeting potential customers. Note however, that due to the effects of light, it is recommended that these guides be replaced about every 12 months. That may be just a rouse from Pantone to help them shift product, you can expect to get a good few years out of a Pantone book. It could be just scare mungering.

Article written by Jim Cunliffe of For more information on Pantone books and guides and specifically Pantone Essentials visit

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