Is there some sort of secret way I don't know about to easily identify related shades of a Pantone colour (i.e. lighter / darker within the same colour) ?

The underlying use is creating a theme palette, and so I'm looking at defining both colours and shades within those "core" colours.

  • 1
    I don't understand this question. Can you elaborate on what you mean by "related shades"? A Pantone color is a physical ink. It's darkest at 100% and only gets lighter if you use lower percentages. Are you talking about finding other Pantone inks which can be seen as "related" to a given Pantone color?
    – Wolff
    Jan 16, 2021 at 9:49
  • 1
    Perhaps you need a Pantone Color Guide, which displays color on cards next to similar colors? Just guessing.. not really sure what's being asked either. As Wolff points out a single Pantone color can only get lighter, unless it is overprinted on top of another color.
    – Scott
    Jan 16, 2021 at 20:16

1 Answer 1


You can only lighten a Pantone color using percentages. In a printed project these percentages make the dot of the halftone smaller or bigger.

You can previsualize it on your software, which will simulate making it lighter.

The only way to darken a color is by using another darker ink, or at some extent using a complementary color, so you now have a duotone.

You can simulate it using multiply blending mode on the software you are using, but it is only an approximation. In the simulation, you can "cancel" a color making it black, in real life you can not achieve this, that is one reason to add black on a CMY print.

A pallet can be the result of combining two perpendicular gradients.

enter image description here

But again, it is only an approximation.

identify related shades of a Pantone color

This is relative. Orange can be related to yellow, they are different inks but both are "warm".

But comes to my mind a post I wrote some time ago, about not using a light Pantone color, but using one similar at some percentage, and now you have the original color as one more "darker". Take a look: Printing photographs when job is a 2 spot color job

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.