Design insights & tutorials.

Pantone In Your Pocket


Pantone has recently released myPantone, a new color guide app for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

The $9.99 app allows you to choose from these PANTONE color system libraries:

  • PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM (coated, uncoated and matte)
  • PANTONE Goe (coated and uncoated)
  • PANTONE Pastels (coated and uncoated)
  • PANTONE FASHION + HOME (paper and cotton)
  • Includes sRGB, HTML and L*a*b* for all colors

You can capture and extract colors from photos and snap to the closest PANTONE Color using images loaded on your iPhone or directly from images taken by your iPhone camera. The app will automatically generates harmonious color combinations, and you can use it to cross-reference PANTONE colors to other PANTONE color libraries. Once you have created your color palettes you can then share them via e-mail an HTML image of your palette or e-mail color palettes that can be used in the Adobe Creative Suite (.ase files), QuarkXPress and CorelDraw. Users can also upload to the palette sharing web site.

Other features include text and voice annotation of palettes, posting of notifications of new palettes to Twitter and Facebook and GPS tagging of palettes.


The disclaimer on the iTunes App Store states: “PANTONE Colors displayed here may not match PANTONE-identified standards” so this is probably best used for a reference on the go as opposed to a full-fledged swatch solution. One plus side to the iPhone is that Pantone knows the exact screen the colors are displayed on, so they have a better chance of calibrating what’s seen on screen to their actual colors.

I haven’t yet had a chance to demo the app, but once I do I’ll compare to my physical swatch books and see how they hold up. Even if they were close, it would be very handy to not have to lug around swatch books when meeting with clients, even if just to choose general families of color swatches.

If you’re ready to plunk down your ten bucks, you can head over and pick up a copy of myPantone at the App Store.

About the Author, George Coghill

George Coghill isa freelance humorous illustrator/cartoonist specializing in mascot cartoon character design & cartoon logos. His cartooning & illustration work can be seen at and at his cartooning and illustration blog. Be sure to follow me on Twitter here!
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We want to hear what you have to say. Do you agree? Do you have a better way to approach the topic? Let the community know by joining the discussion.

  • Simon H.

    Sounds cool. But still… I'm not sure I'm that huge of a fan of Pantone when I know the prices they practice…

  • timboesel

    this is cool i just need a iphone.

  • Adam_Wagner

    Pretty cool. A friend of mine works at Sherwin Williams, which recently released a similar application for matching paint colors.

  • Nate Maggio

    This is cool and all… but I adjust my brightness pretty often, how do they account for that?

  • nomhak

    Its crap. I'm sorry snap a picture of a pantone color from a Pantone book and compare it with that of what the app tells you. It won't match, realize that the lighting of the room your in, and any other colors casted off of objects around you will affect the outcome.

  • George Coghill

    Have you tried the app?

  • George Coghill

    Not sure. I dropped Pantone a line to find out, will post what I learn.

  • George Coghill

    Not really sure anyone has much of a choice in the print industry ;)

  • nileshbabu

    cool idea – everything is on iPhone nowdays..

  • nomhak

    Yes. I've tried this along with color expect and found the results of both to be similar. Take a couple direct shots of an actual color and the results of the application are on average mediocre, they're close . I tried a handful out of my swatch book, and they were close, and a blue rich blue like 072 matched.

    Regardless I think if your going to showcase an application as a color matching system, and I wanted to use the application for what its described as, say to go over to a clients store, to match colors of the signage, and in-store collateral, this application would be pointless.

    Its a cool thing to play with regardless, and maybe I just expect to much. Apps that push the $2.00 need some heavy critiquing. Factors like lighting, and casted colors off surrounding objects, along with the fact that little iphone app is back-lit, and I mean, its JUST an iPhone app.

    I like the concept of you reviewing things like iPHONE apps, and the new wacom. Maybe we can continue going into that direction I mean, everyone loves insight on what to buy and not to buy. I know its about time for me to get a new scanner!

  • Alexander

    “One plus side to the iPhone is that Pantone knows the exact screen the colors are displayed on, so they have a better chance of calibrating what’s seen on screen to their actual colors.”

    Not really. iPhone screens are notorious for not being consistent. There are several manufacturers for the iphone screen and not all use the same laminating techniques – this creates subtle hue differences between the screens. Everytime I upgraded to newer a generation iphone, I had to exchange the phone several times at an apple store in order to get the “contrast” and “white balance” just right.

    I would much rather prefer lugging around swatch books than use this app.

  • George Coghill

    Pantone sent me a link to their help page on this matter:

    It's not exactly clear, but my take is that it's not something you'd use for precise measurements or color choice. More of a quickie reference to get you close, so when you get home you can have a reference.

  • George Coghill

    Thanks for the followup. I haven't tried the app myself, as I don't have much use for it in the work I do.

    I posted this more as a “heads up” than a review or recommendation. Seems to me the app is best suited for quick on-the-go reference/reminder for later when you get home, as opposed to a substitution for an actual physical swatch book. I doubt Pantone intended it as a replacement.

    As far as pricing, I think we'll see a trend where the $1 app will go by the wayside, especially for something more involved to produce such as this app.

  • George Coghill

    Good point. As I mentioned above, I doubt Pantone intends this as a replacement for your swatch books. But for a quick lookup and a way to save for later fine-tuning, I can see it being handy. I can envision seeing a great color combo sitting in a doctor's waiting room where you just want to capture a 'sketch' of the basic color scheme. Head home, pick the actual colors with your swatch book.

  • joelraedeke

    Okay, here's my million dollar idea for the day. Allow the app to take the pictures on your iphone and use an eyedropper to select the colors in the photo and match it to a Pantone equivalent. Boom.

  • austin immigration lawyer

    Sounds pretty cool! I would like to see how well it works before I purchase though.

  • bni

    yeah, I was wondering about this. It may have some use for converting pantones to web colors on the fly? But how often would you need that. $10 is a bit too much for me to pay for me because I need swatches mainly for screenprinting…

  • isis

    this is cool I just need a iphone.
    dizi izle

  • isis

    this is cool I just need a iphone.
    dizi izle

  • Matt

    Thanks for this nice work!
    dizi izle

  • JimmyChoosale

    I like very much the writings and pictures and explanations in your adress so I look forward to see your next writings. I congratulate you.

  • panax

    Very cool and interesting article