Prepress & Workflow

G2 'Munkis' Around with New Color Calibration Package

Posted: July 6, 2008 by
Larry Jaffee

Imagine having to design a package for the most discerning of audiences—your peers, who happen to be fellow designers. That's just what G2 Branding and Design was required to do for ColorMunki Design, a new designer's color creation, inspiration, and control solution from X-Rite and Pantone sold online and at retail.

Developed specifically for the designer, the $500 calibration tool provides a new level of freedom and flexibility in manipulation of virtually any color. There's also a complementary product geared towards photographers. Both put into synch how the colors of a digital image look on a computer monitor and how it actually gets printed on different types of paper.

Determining the audience

"Graphic designers are our core audience," notes Karen Lantelme, director of advertising at Pantone Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite) in Carlstadt, NJ. The two companies merged last fall, prior to which Pantone had long worked with G2.
"As the world-renowned authority on color and provider of leading technology for the design industry, the expectations for packaging—or anything we produce for that matter—are set extremely high," Lantelme says. "ColorMunki definitely sets the bar that much higher."

Consequentially, the logo was created to express this personality, explains G2 creative director and lead ColorMunki package designer Orna Navon. She says the "Munki" mark was designed to be a timeless, contemporary, and sleek symbol that above all reflects the product's advanced creativity and technology.

The style is crisp, clean, and defined, yet the color treatment speaks to the creativity and freedom of the product's vast capabilities. Once installed, the ColorMunki icon sits on a computer's toolbar, along with the user's other application icons. Navon notes that the package design shows off the full spectrum of colors, again addressing the product's essence.

Giving the product a face

"I was trying to capture the personality," says Navon, who started working on the project last August when she was asked by the client to develop a brand identity for the device. "It didn't have a name yet," adds Navon, who finished the design by the end of 2007.

The company not only entrusted New York City-based G2 with coming up with the packaging for ColorMunki; it asked the agency to name it as well. G2 came up with ColorMunki to suggest to prospective users its versatility, playfulness, and coolness. "It easily fit into the design community vernacular," comments Lantelme. The name is also physically accurate, she notes, because the calibration device, which resembles a tape measure, can hang off the computer monitor like, well, a monkey.

"This is the way to talk to designers," Lantelme continues. "Friendly and approachable with the potential to be an integral part of a designer's toolbox, ColorMunki was developed to feed the artistic imagination of creative professionals. Since Pantone's target demographic has seen, experienced, and even developed many of the most memorable logos, designs, and packaging, the ColorMunki packaging needed to be playful, yet sophisticated, while also representing the functionality of the product. "
Personally, Navon considers it to be sort of a dream assignment. "I am the target audience," he muses. "What a great job."