Colour Matching Across Different Mediums

Pantone colours, while a fantastic system for achieving consistency in print, can be tricky to transfer perfectly across different mediums. Here is why:

  • Different Colour Models: Pantone Matching System (PMS) uses a specific ink mixing recipe to create a physical colour. However, screens and digital devices rely on RGB (Red, Green, Blue) or CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) for displaying colours. Converting a Pantone colour to RGB or CMYK often results in an approximation, not an exact match.
  • Material Properties: The surface a colour is applied to can affect its final appearance. A Pantone colour on smooth paper might appear brighter than the same colour on a rough fabric. This is because the texture of the material interacts with light differently. The same is true for wax finishes.
  • Printing Variations: Even within the same medium (like printing), slight variations in ink, paper, and printing press calibration can lead to minor colour differences.


  • Imagine a recipe: Pantone is like a recipe for mixing ink to create a specific colour. But, following the recipe in a different kitchen (digital screen vs physical print) with different ingredients (inks vs pixels) might yield a similar dish (colour), but not an identical one. When making wax we achieve the required colour through mineral pigments rather than dyes or inks.
  • Materials matter: The final colour can be influenced by the canvas it is displayed
  • on, just like how a red shirt looks different on silk than on cotton.
  • Printing is not perfect: Even professional printing can have slight variations depending on the press and materials used.

Despite these limitations, Pantone remains a valuable tool for colour communication. It provides a common reference point for designers and printers to strive for consistency, and we therefore offer a colour range when asked to provide a match.

Acknowledging the Challenge:

  • While we may not attain the exact Pantone colour in wax, we will provide a match that reflects the desired impression our clients need.
  • It is important for us to be upfront about the limitations of colour reproduction in wax, especially when dealing with Pantones. We will collaborate closely with you to find the best solution that meets your needs and expectations.
  • We always use our Pantone swatch books for reference, and these are great as start point. We can then show the client our closest colour equivalent and adapt as required.
  • Another option is for clients to send sample labels, cartons or any other medium/reference representing the colour required. (The blue of the Greek Flag was one request).

By offering alternative solutions and managing expectations, we can still create a satisfying experience for our customer, even with the limitations of digital printing and Pantones on wax.


Jump to Top