Pantone's SkinTone Guide
In any photograph prominently featuring people, the skin tones are the most important (and difficult) colors to reproduce. This is because we instinctively have a sense of what skin is supposed to look like, and skin tones are composed of a delicate mix of colors. Get the proportions wrong and you have people with gray, green, yellow, or pink skin.
To help solve the problem of reproducing skin tones, Pantone has created the PANTONE SkinTone Guide, which defines the colors that encompass the gamut of humanity.
Priced at $89, the SkinTone Guide features 110, 1.75” x 7” pages, each dedicated to its a single SkinTone shade. All pages include a small circular cutout so users can hold the guide over a particular skin sample being matched, to quickly get an accurate match .
To create the guide, more than 1,000 human skin measurements were collected from participants across a diverse range of ethnicities and age groups. To ensure consistent and precise results, skin samples were measured with X-Rite spectrophotometers and PANTONE CAPSURE, a compact, handheld spectro-colorimeter.
COLOR MANAGER Software, included with each SkinTone Guide purchase, provides sRGB and CMYK color values for each skin tone to ensure accurate reproduction in variety of media, including web, video, animation, print, and packaging.
Pantone has listed several potential applications for the new SkinTone Library:
Matching and coordinating cosmetics to skin color.
Bring skin color into the mix when developing colors and palettes for design and producing accessories, foundation garments and intimates.
Develop and control natural skin tones for toys and a variety of products and accessories
Easily match skin tones for accurate photo editing and retouching.
Provides quality control standards for consistent and appealing skin tone reproduction.
Useful for creating baseline color standards for restorative and cosmetic surgery and prosthesis manufacture.