The Painted Desert - Part 2

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The Painted Desert Part 2

Notes from the 2007 PIA/GATF Color Management Conference

Goexplore with Pantone

In 1963 Pantone introduced us to the Pantone Matching System. Since then, the system has been used by everybody from designers to printers to ink and dye manufacturers. It has been used in the automotive, home improvement and textile industries among others. 

In our corner of the industrialized world, the PMS system allowed designers, ink manufacturers and printers to speak the same language when it came to color. It was the Rosetta Stone of the printing industry.

But Pantone had its share of critics over the years. They wanted a better system with more colors, laid out in a more intuitive - chromatic fashion, incorporating new technology advances.  

So last September, Pantone came out with the PANTONE Goe™ System. It is a system that comprises both print and software components that allow designers to specify and effectively communicate color on a level that PMS has not provided. 

Although the Goe system has almost twice as many colors (2,058) as PMS (1,100), they use only ten base inks as opposed to the fourteen base inks in the original Pantone Matching System. There are more neutrals and more in-between colors. New colors were selected because they filled out color choices available, they were distinguishable from each other and were attainable on press. Only two colorants are mixed at any one time in addition to black and clear in order to achieve all the Goe colors. This helps to reduce metamerism and color shifting. 

Speaking at the PIA/GATF Color Management Conference last December, Pantone's Vice President of Advanced Color Technology, Andy Hatkoff, outlined the new system which includes:

  • PANTONE GoeGuide™ A fan-guide, similar to PMS swatch guides,containing all new Goe System colors, arranged in a logical numerical progression - seven colors per page, each identified by a unique number.
  • PANTONE GoeSticks™Two volume set of adhesive-backed color chips that can be arranged temporarily on a “Palette Playground” and then, when a palette is decided on, stuck permanently on palette cards for future reference.
  • myPANTONE™  Software that makes choosing and exploring color in the PANTONE Goe System easy, and analyzes images to produce custom palettes, which can also be shared with the world via the online community. Kind of a "MySpace" for color geeks. "What's your color? I'm 116-2-4C! Like, OMG! Jenny, my old BFF is so PMS235! DYKWIM?"

The Goe System's myPantone palette software gives users the flexibility to work with Goe color data in sRGB, Adobe 98 RGB or L*a*b* so clearly the system is designed for use in cross-media environments.

The myPantone palette software allows the user to define, explore and save palettes of sampled colors.

Hatkoff was careful to stress that the current PMS system will not go away. "The Goe system was not intended to replace the internationally accepted line of PMS products." he said.

Pantone is selling the complete Goe System for $499. Or you can purchase GoeSticks with myPantone software for $369, and GoeGuide with myPantone software for $129.

My Take
The Goe system is being supported by many software programs and output devices, but it remains to be seen just how quickly it will be adopted. It is a better system, but many people are creatures of habit. I meet a lot of people that still refer to digital photography as "film". Will people "Goe" to the Goe system as their old PMS swatch books need replacing? And once it is more ubiquitous, will Pantone, in fact, continue to support the PMS system years from now? Either way, right or wrong, I'm sure Pantone will continue to have their share of detractors. 

Topics: Creative

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