How to Use Pantone Colors for Custom Apparel | Blog

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How to Use Pantone Colors for Custom Apparel

How to Use Pantone Colors for Custom Apparel Grand Rapids, MI

The 2020 Pantone Color of the Year is Classic Blue. While you’ll undoubtedly see this timeless color in everything from custom apparel to weddings to interior design, Pantone colors are also used by companies to maintain consistent brands.

If your logo uses specific Pantone colors, you’ll need to let your custom apparel company know ahead of time so they can get you the best color match. At SportingU, we use Pantone colors for both custom embroidery and screen printing.

What Are Pantone Colors?

There are three major color processes that designers use to communicate about color:

  • RGB: The RGB (red, green, blue) color process is the language of color on digital screens. The colors you see on your screen are created by some mixture of red, green, and blue and varying amounts of light.
  • CMYK: Students often learn in grade school that primary colors — red, yellow, and blue — can be used to create all other colors. However, if you’ve ever tried to make purple from red and blue paints, you may have been disappointed with how dark and muddied your purple turned out. That’s because the red-yellow-blue color system is actually an oversimplification of CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black). Cyan (blue), magenta (red), and yellow, mixed with black to allow for different levels of light, can create brilliant shades of all sorts of colors. Because of this, the CMYK color process is most popular in print. You may recognize CMYK as the color toners used in your office printer.
  • Pantone: The Pantone color process uses 14 base pigments to create a wide variety of colors, including special types such as metallics and fluorescents. Some Pantone colors can be accurately reproduced through the CMYK process.

Designers use Pantone colors so they can be absolutely certain their company colors match across a variety of products, including:

The reason Pantone colors are so convenient is because different types of light affect how we perceive color. For example, how a color looks on your computer screen could be very different from how it will look on an embroidered jacket. By using Pantone colors, you can be certain that the colors in your design are consistent with your brand across all mediums.

How Do I Use Pantone Colors for Custom Embroidery?

If you plan to have custom embroidered hats or custom polo shirts for your company, you’ll need to check the thread manufacturer’s companion book. Within the book, you’ll find all of the thread colors they offer along with their matching Pantone colors.

Thread manufacturing companies stock the most popular colors, which means you might have a difficult time finding the exact shade you need for your custom embroidery. If this is the case, we recommend picking the color that best matches your Pantone shade. If the color is close enough, the vast majority of people won’t notice the difference. Remember, different lighting can also affect how people perceive color.

How Do I Use Pantone Colors for Screen Printing?

If you are interested in t-shirt screen printing, you’ll be happy to know that ink colors can be mixed to match the exact Pantone colors you need. However, it’s also possible to get ink for t-shirt printing that comes already mixed.

The color that appears on screen printed shirts and other apparel may look different depending on what material it’s printed on. Depending on your design, a t-shirt printing company may need to print a white base, which can also affect how the color will look.

Get Custom Apparel with Your Company’s Colors

SportingU is a Byron Center t-shirt printing company that offers a range of services to companies, volunteer organizations, sports teams, and other groups. If you’re interested in our custom screen printing or embroidery services, call us today at (616) 730-1614, or contact us online.

This blog post has been updated.

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