Printing Impressions

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President, Print Oasis Print Buyers Conference

Connecting with Print Buyers

By Suzanne Morgan

About Suzanne

Suzanne Morgan is president of the annual Print Oasis Print Buyers Conference (www.printoasis.com) and Print Buyers Online.com, a free educational e-community for print buyers and their print suppliers (www.printbuyersonline.com). PBO has more than 11,000 members who buy $13 billion a year in printing. PBO conducts weekly research on buying trends and teaches organizations how to work more effectively with their print suppliers.

 

Print Customers are Intrigued with Pantone’s Goe, but Have Lots of Questions

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Pantone Inc.’s announcement of the new Pantone Goe Color Specification System was for some the most exciting announcement at Graph Expo 2007. The PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM (PMS) was introduced 45 years ago. Goe is the company’s first new color specification system since, and is expected to eventually be as ubiquitous. At its Graph Expo press conference, Pantone stressed that the Goe system is not intended to replace PMS, but rather is a complementary system that accommodates today’s printing equipment, processes and workflows. It was inspired to create Goe from designers’ requests for more color choices that would enable them to differentiate their work from the competition. Goe delivers 2,058 new solid Pantone colors, as compared to the 1,114 PMS colors.

In a recent Print Buyers Online.com quick poll, 81 print buyers and 29 print suppliers responded the question: “How interested are you in the new Pantone Goe color specification system?” Print buyers are intrigued by the idea of a new system, with 23% saying they are “very interested” and 41% saying they are “somewhat interested.” The response from print suppliers was cooler, with 17% saying they are “very interested” and 21% claiming “somewhat interested.”

That’s not a surprise, nor should be discouraging, as print solution suppliers are often more cautious, not wanting to adopt what their customers aren’t buying. Mike David, president of Theo Davis Printing, summed it up by saying, “I am sure most printers will adopt a wait and see attitude. Designers will determine the acceptance and success of this product.”

The system hasn’t been released yet, so there are a lot of people who have yet to learn about it. In fact, 22% of print buyers and 17% of print suppliers claimed not to know about the Goe system, according to the Print Buyers Online.com polls. And even for those that are trying to get up to speed, there are questions.

One buyer said, “This is a major change to a well entrenched standard. Change like this usually takes many, many years to happen. I wonder how long it will take to completely transition away from the [PANTONE] MATCHING SYSTEM to Goe? How will the ‘mature’ designers take to the change late in their careers? And what effects will it have on peripheral functions, like me, the poor production manager who has to deal not only with the designers and printers, but the clients, the account reps, and other creatives?”

Even an optimistic buyer cautions: ”If it saves time, I like it. However, there are some unknowns: Who is using the new system? All printers? Some printers? Do I now have to have an additional conversation with printers about which system they are using and why? Do I have to buy additional books? That is costly. Pantone needs to tell us more.”

What are your thoughts on the new Goe system? What are you hearing from your clients?

www.PrintBuyersOnline.com

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COMMENTS

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Most Recent Comments:
Bob Butkins - Posted on October 01, 2007
Well - once again, marketing efforts and the need to increase Revenue over-rule what the industry needs or wants. This is a disservice to the industry, but print has a history of accepting the "schtick" that suppliers mete out. For example, press manufacturers have placed presses in any plant that had a pulse, now we have over-capacity issues. Similarly, Scitex aided in the downfall of trade shops--charging $250K for workstations that a MAC can do for $5K...I just believe the Goe System (and I had extensive conversations with Pantone in Chicago about this topic) is another example of Marketing efforts doing a disservice to the industry.
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Archived Comments:
Bob Butkins - Posted on October 01, 2007
Well - once again, marketing efforts and the need to increase Revenue over-rule what the industry needs or wants. This is a disservice to the industry, but print has a history of accepting the "schtick" that suppliers mete out. For example, press manufacturers have placed presses in any plant that had a pulse, now we have over-capacity issues. Similarly, Scitex aided in the downfall of trade shops--charging $250K for workstations that a MAC can do for $5K...I just believe the Goe System (and I had extensive conversations with Pantone in Chicago about this topic) is another example of Marketing efforts doing a disservice to the industry.