Pantone can refer to any of various collections of printed color samples (known as a "Pantone book") or to a software library that contains specific identification of these colors. This allows for communication of color between several industries and means of reproduction.
For example, a graphic designer might look in a Pantone book for a printed example of a light green color to use in a brochure. If the designer chooses Pantone 375 C, he can call up that color in Adobe Illustrator and build his image using it. When the printer receives the file to be printed from the designer, he can know what this green is supposed to look like, and can even predict whether his printing process is going to be able to reproduce that particular color.
The literal gamut of Pantone colors is quite large; some of the more saturated colors cannot be reproduced on typical printing presses, or inkjet printers.
- See also: Spot color