The Pantone® Color Matching system is a standard in the printing industry that has found it's way into the digital world. The PMS® has been around for nearly 50 years, and it has gone through many changes over those decades. Developed in the 70's as a way to consistently match printing colors to specific needs, the Pantone® system is widely used in clothing, digital images, logo design, artwork and branding.
In 1963, Lawrence Herbert, Pantone's founder, created an innovative system of identifying, matching and communicating colors to solve the problems associated with producing accurate color matches in the graphic arts community. His insight that the spectrum is seen and interpreted differently by each individual led to the innovation of the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM®, a book of standardized color in fan format."
- From the Pantone® website: "About Us" > "Our History"
By taking portions of a base set of colors and adding shades of white and black to them, along with mixing parts of each other, an entire rainbow of colors are created. Simply match the color desired to the book and then note the color's number, and when you go to a printer request that specific number. Their matching system on the printing presses with calibrate the inks to the appropriate level, and you will see your color just as you had envisioned it.