New PANTONE PLUS Improves on an Industry Standard

PANTONE PLUS Color Matching System

When Pantone came out with the new improved GOE system, which was a start-from-scratch rethink-the-whole-approach and reformulate-the-colors approach to color matching, they had an excellent idea: better control, more colors, closer matching and many other features designers should have liked. But they didn’t.

As good as the GOE system is and as big an improvement over the old PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM that it is—for so many reasons—designers and printers thought there was no need to change. It was not a resounding success even though it’s an excellent color matching system.

The users of Pantone’s color swatch books had a point. Printers have been using the PMS color guides for decades and they are clearly an industry standard. There is hardly a printing company or design studio that does not have a few Pantone swatch books lying around. And even though many of them are old enough not to be terribly accurate, they are still used every day. So why switch?

We could give a slew of reasons to switch, not the least of which is you really should replace anything that is color critical every few years: inks fade, paper yellows, ink gets dropped on them and so on. Add to that the fact that the GOE color science and matching ability is better. But the point is that printers had something they were used to and that worked for them and printers only change if they really have to. The middle of a global recession is probably not the best time for reinventing the wheel.

So instead, Pantone went back to the system everyone knows and loves and rather than radically changing it, they simply improved it. If I tell you GOE is better, you might believe me, but chances are if you’re a buyer for a design studio you are going to order what your people are comfortable and familiar with. That’s really the essence of PANTONE PLUS.

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Stephen Beals is a veteran prepress manager with some 30 years of experience in the commercial print business. He has written hundreds of articles for dozens of publications and owns the website "Printoolz" for software for print and multimedia production. Stephen also founded his own murder mystery dinner theatre troupe and is a Presbyterian pastor.

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