Mixing Pantone Colours

Hi Everyone,

I’ve recently bought a Pantone book with the hope of mixing my own colours, however, it’s not as easy as I had anticipated and I’m afraid to waste ink - I only need to smallest amount mixed. I’ve also looked at purchasing some scales, but they are pretty expensive. Are there places in the UK or US that will mix Pantone Colours at a reasonable cost?
Thanks in advance

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Your local paper supplier should be able to get you Van Son ink. You can also use Metroplex Ink in Hurst, Texas, work (817) 284-3131


Gans Ink in Los Angeles, California will mix any PMS color with desired viscosity.

Vance Studley
Fine Press

Thanks for the replies so far. Does anyone know if there is a company in the UK who will mix small pantone colours for a reasonable price?

We run an offset shop but do a lot of spot color. Most places will charge you about 50 bucks for a pound. We mix between 2 oz and 8 pounds depending on the job. It takes some upfront money but having the pantone colors and a scale saves a ton of money. You can mix as little as you want. We got a digital scale but the beam ones are very cheap. We tried mixing by sight and it ended with an ugly green that we still have 4 years later. Again the colors seem expensive in the beginning but once you get stock if you are mixing for small jobs they will last a long time. Also outsourcing the ink just added time and one more step to a complicated job. Mixing yourself costs about 1 dollar an ounces - many times less depending on the color. Good luck!

Pia, I gather you’re in the U.K., and while there are some places in the U.S. that will mix Pantone colors fairly reasonably (around $20-$25 U.S. per lb.), the shipping to you might make it rather pricey. There are probably some places in the U.K., too; check with local offset shops and see if they have sources. If they mix their own, ask if they would be willing to show you how (in exchange for some letterpress printing, perhaps). It’s not really that difficult, and small digital scales are actually cheap (eBay). Since the Pantone system is designed for offset, you’re going to have to adjust for letterpress if you want an exact match anyway, so your mixing doesn’t have to be extremely accurate.

In case you can’t find a source closer to you, I do have some Pantone colors available in 1/4-lb tubes and I will mix colors if needed; e-mail me if you’d like a list or more info on mixing your own.

Dave (the Ink in Tubes guy)

Hi Pia,

We get our inks from Sun Chemical in the UK (who can supply any Pantone colour) but I’m not sure whether they take small orders.

Are you using oil based ink?


Hi Rose,

Thanks for the Sun Chemical contact, I will give them a call.

I’m using rubber based ink.


Buying a scale and mixing ink yourself saves money and time. Small inexpensive electronic scales are out there—just check Amazon.com.uk for some examples. Try to get one that measures in both ounces and grams, in .1 increments and you will be able to routinely mix small amounts of ink.