Strategies & Insights

Pantone's Goe System Presents New Color Guides Built From the Paper Up

Posted: September 17, 2009 by
Ron Romanik

The PANTONE PMS color chip has been called the smallest contract in the world. Users agree on a color and the PANTONE chip is the proof of that agreement and the assurance that the agreed-upon color will be reproduced accurately. The number of these contracts just grew by 2,058 with the Goeª System from Pantone Inc., announced on September 8 at Graph Expo and targeted for release on October 1.

Pantone has a unique perspective on the design and printing marketplace, having been the world's color authority for 45 years. In preparing the Goe System for release, Pantone went into the field to discover the new priorities of suppliers, printers, and designers, and what an ideal color system might look like. They refined the system until suppliers and printers validated the new approach wholeheartedly.

Over the years, the original Pantone PMS (PANTONE Matching System) Color Guide had grown in steps from 500 colors to 1114 colors built from 14 base colors. As it grew, the guide became disorganized, and there was not a consistent logic to the numbers. The new Goe System does more with less, using 10 base inks to produce 2,058 colors, and the Goe Guide is organized logically. Pantone believes there is no reason the two guides cannot work side-by-side forever, aided by Goe's new numbering system.

Satisfying a need

In recent years, the Pantone company has been bolstered by a number of different industries, including plastics, fabric, and paint. The company has a service-oriented attitude, always trying to modify products to enthuse their customers. They designed the Goe System to inspire creativity and to keep pace with the fast-changing design and printing industries that serve increasingly global and multimedia end-users. "We think this is going to set the industry on a new path," says Doris Brown, vice president of marketing for Pantone.

For the Goe System development, Pantone looked at all aspects of color reproduction today—processes, equipment, workflows, etc.—as well as how printing related to the newest media of web-based software and digital video.

Suppliers and printers told Pantone that consistent ink film is a priority in today's competitive market. Consistent film thickness saves money and time by making drying times equal and increasing control when matching color on press. Pantone responded by recalibrating every Goe color to print uniform ink film thicknesses while remaining compatible with aqueous or UV coatings. In addition, the 10 Mixing Bases, plus PANTONE Clear, are readily available anywhere in the world to ensure color consistency on a global basis while keeping ink inventory to a minimum.

Pantone is hoping for strong migration from existing customers, who will be pleased to learn that the fundamental way their guides look and work has not changed. If anything, the Goe Guide is easier to use, with larger color fields on whiter and lighter 100-lb. coated paper and six adhesive-backed samples per color.

Efficient software tools

The Goe System comes with efficient software tools that work at operating system level, sitting on top of open programs, and that is compatible with common design software in use today. The core functions of myPANTONE Palettes software are creating color palettes that can be imported into applications, shared among coworkers and clients, and archived for future reference.

Users can choose an individual color with the Color Picker hue circle or square hue gradient or by manually entering RGB or HTML values for known colors. The program snaps the color to the closest PANTONE Color. Of course, one can also choose PANTONE Palettes Colors directly from the various PANTONE Libraries.

Other options include an Eye-Dropper Tool, Color Blender, Color Schemes, and Image Palette Builder. The Color Blender forms a color gradient between two user-defined colors with up to 83 individual steps between them. Color Schemes selects colors according to color harmonies. The Image Palette Builder allows users to import an image and automatically generate a palette using the dominant colors within the image.

After selecting individual colors, users can drag and drop them within the myPalettes area to create a color palette. They also have the ability to view any saved palettes, print, export, organize, and lock palettes, as well as edit individual color properties. When communicating colors, users can utilize the myPalette reader to convey details of the palette and the usage of the colors, and any other details pertaining to the palette.