Consider Color Carefully
Why you should avoid PMS colors
Many designers and even some businesses have heard of Pantone and its color books. Pantone's Color of the Year has also raised consumer awareness of the brand, which was originally developed for the fashion industry. In the days of offset and lithographic printing, large companies relied on PMS colors to ensure their branding colors matched across every print medium. But adding a PMS color is quite expensive in terms of printing. 
Traditional presses use plates for each color, with four colors—cyan, yellow, magenta, and black (CMYK)—being standard and which combine to create thousands of colors. However, the majority of PMS colors do not separate (are not reproducible) as CMYK color combinations. Pantone colors exist as physical cans of ink that are added to a print run on their own plate. So companies with strict PMS colors have to pay for an extra press plate for the PMS color to run on. In traditional printing, cost is based not only on how many copies you want but also on how many plates you need. So to print a four-color brochure plus your PMS color would require five plates. Offset printing is generally preferred for very large print runs in the range of 2,500 or more copies for standard four-color runs. 
With the rise of digital printing and online promotion, maintaining color accuracy across all platforms is less of a priority especially for small business. But digital printing does rely on CMYK color. There is no way to add a PMS can of ink to the print run. A digital press is essentially a very high-end color copier in a way. If you choose a PMS color for your logo and it does not separate closely to CMYK, your color may not appear as expected on a digital press. If you are just starting out and working with a designer to develop your branding, I highly recommend you steer clear of PMS color suggestions. 
Having been in the printing and graphic design industry for more than 20 years, I am seeing more and more young designers choosing PMS colors for their clients. I can only assume this is what they are being taught in school, and as many would agree, what's taught in school seldom reflects real-world situations. 
Designers like PMS colors for a number of reasons, but primarily because there are so many colors to choose from. And even if they don't utilize a calibrated monitor to ensure color accuracy, Pantone makes a suite of swatch books that help designers see what a selected color will look like in print.
But as I mentioned, the majority of PMS colors are not exactly reproducible in CMYK, RGB (used by monitors and other electronic devices) or Hex (used to identity colors to Web browsers). Some of the colors are so far divergent when converted to other color gamuts they are essentially unrecognizable when compared to their PMS counterpart. Pantone does make a reference book of the small number of colors that do separate to CMYK pretty closely, but I prefer another method of selecting color for clients.
Back in the 90s, a new color reference system called Trumatch was developed to eliminate the guess work of choosing colors by limiting the color palette to those color combinations guaranteed to be reproducible as CMYK. There are more than 2,000 colors to choose from, and maintain accuracy surprising well when converting to RGB and hex.
If you are a designer, I highly recommend getting a Trumatch swatch book. All Adobe Creative Cloud apps support this system, making it easy to select colors and not worry about converting them to CMYK as they will convert when printed or exported to PDF.
I can't emphasis enough the importance for businesses to choose wisely when it comes to colors for their brands. Colors do evoke an emotional response. For example:
• Red: Attention-getting, warmth, power, passion, action
• Yellow: Joyful, curiosity, happiness, warmth
• Orange: Affordable, creative, light-hearted, and youthful
• Green: Healing, tranquility, environmental, fresh
• Blue: Calming, confidence, dignity, loyalty, trustworthy
When working with designers, I encourage you to mention Trumatch to them, especially when discussing your logo. It may seem like a trivial matter, but it will benefit you (and save you money) in the long run.
I just ordered a new copy of the Trumatch guide. Can't wait to use it on my next project!
PS. I am in no way affiliated with Trumatch. Just a big fan.
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