Guide to the World of Pantones

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For many fashion lovers, the world of fashion can be very exciting. The excitement for this industry lies in many things such as designs, models, fabrics, runways and more. However, one of the most exciting things for fashion lovers and designers in the fashion industry has to be playing with colors and using that to come up with a fashion line, mood board or concept. How do fashion designers know what colors to use in their designs? The main tool that designers use in the fashion industry is Pantones.

What are Pantones? 

Pantones are primarily specific color guides with color swatches that have a particular code that can help in the aid of color matching for artistic works. The code can be broken down into these parts: a two-digit number, a dash, a four-digit number and then a suffix/unique code or sometimes the name of the color. Examples would be Pantone 15-1717 TPX Pink Icing or Pantone 15-3919 TCX Serenity.

Pantone sets the standard for colors for the year. This standard can create trends for the year through aesthetics, fashion and art. This color of the year is Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating, a combination of gray and yellow that represents the deeper, positive feelings that we are going to experience this year.

Pantone’s is an important tool in the fashion industry because it sets the standards for colors for artists in their creations. Through this standard of colors, Pantone uses different color systems for different types of creators and designers. A color system is a system that uses color-matching technology for different materials and needs. VALLEY is focused on the systems created by Pantones for the fashion industry. 

Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors (FHI) System 

For the fashion industry, the Pantone FHI System for Textiles is the color system most commonly used by designers and is good for the production of apparel, fabrics and soft goods. There is another sector of the color match system in the field of fashion that focuses on coatings and pigments, but VALLEY will only be focusing on the system aiding in the design of clothes and apparel through textiles. The coding for this system is different from the traditional Pantones color grids. The “TCX” refers to the textiles and the “TPG” refers to the printings and coatings.

The color system for textiles is mostly centered around Pantone Swatch Cards. These cards are double-layered pieces of fabric that are formulated with specific, exact color matches from their database. This is a fantastic tool for fashion designers because with using this system designers can have precise color matches to their designs and it makes it easier when those designs go into the production stage. 

To further explain the life cycle of Pantones in the fashion industry, here is a recent fashion color trend report that helped established the colors for the Spring/Summer 2022 season from the recent NYFW. The Pantone Institute of Color forecasted that this year’s colors gave us the comfort and clarity we needed this year. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, says that the colors for next season bring together our desires through soothing colors and joyful hues. “As we enter this new landscape, one where fashion rules no longer apply, hues for Spring 2022 allow us to mix and marry as we please, encouraging the exploration of new chromatic realities, opening the door for personalized style and spontaneous color statements,” Eiseman said. 

Joyful Hues:

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Soothing Colors:

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Pantone Connect

Finally, after learning about what Pantones are and why they are important, VALLEY is going to tell you about how you can make your own Pantones! The best way to do this would be through Pantone Connect. Pantone Connect is a free app, that can be purchased through the Apple App Store for iPhone or the Google Play Store for Android, which can be used by any designer to successfully create and design with their own Pantone palettes! Pantone Connect can also be used through an extension with Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator as well.

Show us your Pantone Palettes by tagging us, @VALLEYmag, on Instagram.


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