PANTONE PLUS “The New Colors of Your Life!”

October 10, 2010 2:38 am

Tags: 2D, Adobe, Creative Suite, CS5, Pantone

PANTONE PLUS "The New Colors of Your Life!"

Artists around the world know that Pantone is responsible for overseeing the colors of our creative lives. This year, Pantone shook the artistic world with the announcement of PANTONE PLUS, their new color system, and the retirement of their PANTONE® MATCHING SYSTEM® (PMS).

Creativity revolves around color. Pantone is synonymous with color and has been the leader in the consistency of color standards for nearly half a century. Pantone continually strives to implement new and innovative ideas to keep current within the ever changing world of global color standards. Pantone organizes color to assure that your creative output matches the exact tints, shades, and tones of your inspiration.


Senior vice president and general manager of Pantone, Ron Potesky, reflected on the changes to the new Pantone System, "PANTONE PLUS takes what designers and printers know and love about the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM and supercharges it with a host of new features, colors and digital tools." He further added, "The PLUS SERIES provides designers with greater freedom for selecting, specifying and matching color. And, since the PANTONE PLUS SERIES is based on the widely used PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM, there's no training or new equipment required to start pushing the boundaries of creativity."

Since 1963, Pantone has indeed listened and responded to the wants and needs of its customers. Pantone Plus, with its 566 total new colors, appears to be a direct result of the company's outstanding customer service. Even the new color swatch book has been reorganized; allowing "color families" to flow logically in a chromatic order, rather than the old numerical sequence; resulting in an easier to use color guide that will surely ignite your creative imagination.

Change is never easy, especially if you are among the longtime PMS devotees who have memorized your favorite Pantone colors, and their location within the familiar PMS color swatch book .Even though the "numerical order" of your favorite color may have changed in the new PANTONE PLUS color swatch book, the Pantone Color Number remains the same. Anticipating your concerns, located in the back of each book, Pantone has included an Index that lists all of the Pantone colors and their current page number.

All of the new colors in the PANTONE PLUS SERIES are numbered 7548 and above, and are chromatically, and sporadically, located throughout the color swatch books. Checking out the new colors is a bit of work, as there are no specific notations per color chip to let you know which colors are new. One easy, but time consuming way is to check the book's Index for the page location of numbers 7548 and higher, or to merely browse through your books, looking for colors above 7547.

The text-weight paper, that every color swatch book in the PANTONE PLUS SERIES is printed on, mirrors the paper used as a global industry standard. This attention to detail offers consistency that artists, designers, and printers have come to expect from Pantone.

Another new addition … in the back of each book is a ColorChecker Lighting Indicator. This new feature allows the user to determine if the lighting conditions are within the correct color evaluation range (which can be problematic if picking colors under fluorescent lights).

Also, within the PANTONE PLUS SERIES, are 300 new, non-leafing metallic colors. The biggest change to the PANTONE PLUS metallic colors is that the luster remains unchanged when a metallic is coated and/or varnished. There is also a huge addition of Neon colors, which have grown from a mere 14 to a respectable 56 brilliant color variations.

The new PANTONE PLUS is still formulated with the same 14 base inks that constitute the familiar PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM. So, besides the addition of new colors, what sets the new PANTONE PLUS apart from PMS? One difference is Pantone has changed the ink film thickness on the new colors, while at the same time, retaining the PMS, base 14 Pantone inks. This, I am certain, is a huge relief to those in the printing industry, as the transition from PMS to PANTONE PLUS will be as easy as ordering new Color Swatch Books.

On the subject of having to purchase another new set of swatch books … Pantone offers a $25 rebate for each Swatch Book ($50 for Chip Books) that their customers return when purchasing the new PANTONE PLUS books. Actually, the Chip-in Program is very generous, as Pantone recommends updating books regularly, due to normal wear and tear that, over time, can change/fade the initial color swatches. To add to their generosity, for every old Color Swatch Book or Chip Book that is recycled, Pantone in turn makes a donation to arts education.

So, what about those of us who are avid Adobe enthusiasts … how does the new PANTONE PLUS system affect Adobe Creative Suite artists? Senior director, design and web segment at Adobe, Lea Hickman, says, "Adobe® Creative Suite® plays a central role in helping designers realize their artistic visions and Pantone is also crucial to this process, allowing creatives to make and implement critical color decisions. PANTONE PLUS provides Adobe Creative Suite users with expanded color sets and more intuitive selection to help streamline the creative process."

PANTONE® PLUS Digital Libraries for Adobe, provides a free download for both Mac and PC user to update their Pantone libraries for Adobe® Creative Suite® software.

Pantone Goe System and PANTONE PLUS

On a final note, although Pantone is replacing PMS with PANTONE PLUS, they are keeping their other newcomer, the PANTONE GOE System as a companion to PANTONE PLUS. The Goe (pronounced 'go') System was introduced in 2007, as Pantone's response to the growing demand in the graphics market for more colors, digital processes, easier cross-platform color matching and faster design-to-print timelines.


One of the benefits of the Goe System is that each color provides a sRGB value within the GoeGuide. This is extremely handy for digital artists, especially in regards to inkjet printers. As any artist knows, when outputting to an inkjet printer there is always the expectation and anxiety of color shift from screen to print. PANTONE Goe comes to the rescue of independent graphic artists and their need for a consistent color-managed workflow, by utilizing industry standard L*a*b* color data.

The PANTONE Goe System allows both the artist's software and printer to work in conjunction with each other, to provide a spot color that is consistent and reliable with each printing. Combing the PANTONE Goe System with Pantone Plus is the perfect solution to all your color needs.

The complete PANTONE PLUS SERIES includes:

  • PANTONE FORMULA GUIDE (Solid Coated and Uncoated)
  • PANTONE SOLID CHIPS (Coated and Uncoated)
  • PANTONECOLOR BRIDGE® (Coated or Uncoated)
  • PANTONE CMYK (Coated and Uncoated)
  • PANTONE PASTELS & NEONS (Coated/Uncoated)
  • myPANTONE and X-Ref iPhone applications

A quick breakdown of the PANTONE PLUS SERIES:

The FORMULA GUIDE and SOLID CHIPS introduce 224 new solid colors for a total of 1,341 colors, offering designers more options and flexibility in the creative process. The new colors are formulated with the same 14 ink bases that were the foundation of the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM, ensuring that printers worldwide can reproduce the new colors when specified. Consistent ink film thicknesses make the new colors easier for printers to match on press.

After extensive technical research, development and testing, a single version suitable for worldwide use is now available. The new COLOR BRIDGE guide has been printed within today's ISO specifications and G7® processes, with the exception of a more desirable, optically brightened paper.

The new CMYK guide offers a smoother progression of 2,886 CMYK colors for four-color process printing. The guide is printed with bio-friendly ISO-certified inks using a digital workflow within ISO specifications and G7 processes, but on optically brightened paper, allowing for a single version that is suitable for worldwide use.

The PANTONE PLUS SERIES provides significantly enhanced tools for working with specialty colors that add flair and pop to any design. PREMIUM METALLICS includes 300 new, non-leafing metallics that have been formulated for greater brilliance, even when coated.

Neon colors have been gaining popularity in print, spurred by the sportswear, swimwear and footwear markets. To satisfy this increasing demand, PASTELS & NEONS offers a broad collection of 154 pastels with 56 neon colors.

For a complete listing of prices and information on all Pantone products, please visit the official Pantone website. We also invite you to explore the following:

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October 11, 2010

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Article Comments

Wryter ( posted at 6:13AM Wed, 13 October 2010

Being in the printing trade for well nigh 40 years now has always found anything to do with Pantone to be excellent. Has a set of Pantone swatches at work and a set at home, always handy, always accurate.

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