WYSIWYG, Really? -- Be Sure with Pantone® Colors

WYSIWYG, Really? -- Be Sure with Pantone® Colors

Published Mar 17, 2021 by Rick Cundiff


See that funny looking word? That’s a variation on a descriptive term that’s been around for three decades or so. You probably know it as:

WYSIWYG. Pronounced “wissy-wig.”

That’s a handy acronym for What You See Is What You Get, a long-standing term from computer word processing programs. It means what you type will look exactly like what’s printed, emailed or transmitted.

Our slightly altered version is WYSINAWYG -- What You See Is Not Always What You Get.

Travel with me now back in time to those dark ages, the time of the dinosaurs, when typewriters ruled the earth, and room-sized "minicomputers" with dumb terminals waited in the wings. Back in those days, the first word processors were hardware based beasts that did nothing else. To operate one successfully, the typist had to learn some arcane commands, and to make something print the way you wanted took some doing.

Soon, personal computers came along, and had pretty much the same effect on typewriters and standalone word processors that the asteroid had on the dinosaurs. Word processing became software based and the machines became capable of far more functions.

The new technology allowed the development of true WYSIWYG applications. You could write a document and print it or post it to a web page with the knowledge that it would look exactly the way you want.

With custom patches, it’s not quite that simple. That’s where our WYSINAWYG comes in.

It all comes down to the fact that every computer monitor is a little bit different. The colors you see in your patch design on your screen won’t necessarily be exactly the same that I see on my screen, or the one the factory sees.

Needless to say, that can cause problems. If you’re expecting part of your patch to be, say, University of Florida orange, and it turns out to be University of Tennessee orange, you’re not going to be a happy customer.

Fortunately, there’s a way around WYSINAWYG. It’s called a Pantone® color chart. Give us a Pantone color number and we can match it precisely. Available at your local print shop or public library, it’s the ONLY way to ensure a 100% color match.

Want to know more about color matching or anything else about patches? We’re always happy to hear from you. Call us, email or fill out our no-obligation Free Quote form, and we’ll answer any questions you might have.