PANTONE COLOR BRIDGE gives access to a wide range of standard pre-defined colors that you can use when creating materials that will be professionally produced using litho printing. Using PANTONE color numbers enables a more reliable way of reproducing known colors. For example, the Scottish Parliament has defined that the blue color used in the Scottish flag be PANTONE 300. This means anyone reproducing the flag can be sure to get the correct shade of blue.

PANTONE colors can be used two ways. The "spot color" expensive way involves your commercial printer using special inks that are exact PANTONE colors. So when you specify, say PANTONE 120 (a shade of yellow), the printer purchases an ink that is exactly this shade of yellow. This is expensive because it requires special inks to be used. It's usually only economically viable if you require large or very large production runs. This is sometimes referred to as PANTONE solid or spot colors.

The alternative, less expensive way, is to use PANTONE 4-COLOR PROCESS colors, which use a mix of the standard CMYK inks to re-create a given color, sometimes called a Process Color. This is less exact because mixing CMYK inks to create a given color is not as reliable as using a solid pure ink of the required color. However it provides a way of ensuring much more accurate color reproduction than judging colors by eye or assuming your computer monitor screen or inkjet printer is accurate (computer screens and desktop printers vary quite considerably).

Xara Designer Pro and Page & Layout Designer support both types of PANTONE color system. You can use them as spot or solid colors or use the PANTONE 4-COLOR PROCESS library which defines exact mixes of CMYK colors. You can find the PANTONE color libraries in the Color Gallery.


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