Pantone Expands its SkinTone Guide to 138 Total Shades

Just a few months after its initial launch SkinTone Product Suite, Pantone has expanded it with a new guide that includes added shades and compatibility across multiple platforms.

The Pantone SkinTone technology allows TV, smartphone and tablet, display, and printer manufacturers to have their devices tested for what Pantone describes as “authentically reproducing” skin tones and the value of those tones is determined by Pantone’s current specifications. According to the company, this new special edition SkinTone guide marks the 10th anniversary of work on the product and includes 28 new dynamic shades that bring the guide’s total up to 138 shades, and is integrated within Pantone’s digital platform, Pantone Connect.

The 28 new shades include a wider array of darker tones and yellow undertones created at the request of Pantone customers who are looking for specific colors that closer represented them.

Pantone SkinTone Expansion 1

The company says inclusivity and representation are standard expectations from consumers and as such, brands across multiple industries have to ensure that it is part of the fabric of their creations. Since the world has become more hybrid (online and in-person) people working in areas of fashion, product design, and beauty have to ensure that accurate skin tones are incorporated seamlessly within their digital and physical workflows.

Pantone SkinTone Expansion 2

“Our goal is to provide an inclusive, global product, in both digital and physical spaces, that reflects our global society and empowers companies to offer more inclusive color matches for their audiences around the world, ” said Tannese Williams, Product Manager for Fashion, Home, and Interiors (FHI) for Pantone.

“Color inclusivity has always been an important part of our work, and we look forward to leading that charge in this next evolution of our products.”


The company says the SkinTone guide was created by Pantone Color scientists by measuring thousands of actual skin tones across the full spectrum of human skin types from a diverse range of ethnicities and age groups to catalog 138 shades of unique skin tone colors. The guide is intended to be a part of the company’s ongoing effort to help brands and designers foster inclusivity and representation across their products and creations.

“For years the apparel industry has been without the vocabulary to describe the full breadth of skin tones we embody,” says Shantell Richardson, co-owner of Time Knowtions, “The Pantone Skintone tool acts as a new dictionary, redefining our understanding and expanding our standards around the word “nude”. When it comes to trimmings and accessories, materials in a wide range of neutral skin tones provide the perfect foundation for beadwork, particularly in bridal wear.”

Last October, Pantone’s licensing agreement with Adobe ended, forcing those who rely on the industry standard color tones to subscribe to a plugin to regain access.

The $139 Pantone SkinTone Special Edition Guide is immediately available on all Pantone Platforms, including a Pantone Beauty Bundle for cosmetic and beauty product developers.

Image credits: Pantone