PANTONE Goe System-The Evolution of Color Spec

The sys­tem known as the PANTONE Matching System–PMS–needs lit­tle intro­duc­tion to the pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design world. We endeav­or to give one, how­ev­er, in order to set the stage for what is to fol­low.

Since 1962, when the first 500 PMS col­ors were for­mu­lat­ed, designers–graphic and otherwise–have come to depend on the PMS to spec­i­fy an exact spot col­or, exact­ly for­mu­lat­ed by PANTONE, which was a known quan­ti­ty regard­less of the view­er or dis­play device. CMYK can vary from out­put to out­put, but PMS 368 should always repro­duce uniformly–Quark, Inc. depends on this.

Since its debut, the PMS has grown to over 1,100 indi­vid­ual col­or for­mu­la­tions and the PMS has become the stan­dard in achiev­ing application-independent col­or across the seem­ing­ly lim­it­less com­bi­na­tions of com­po­si­tion and lay­out soft­ware, dis­play hard­ware and pro­duc­tion hard­ware.

What Becomes a Legend Most?

Pantone Goe System

The PANTONE Goeâ„¢ System. Image Courtesy PANTONE.

The PMS, an essen­tial tool in the designer’s col­or spec box, is very good. But how does one improve on the stan­dard? We don’t quite know how we’d do it, but we think our idea would prob­a­bly come very close to the new PANTONE Goeâ„¢ System.

As sug­gest­ed in Jeremy Schultz’s arti­cle on the nuts and bolts of the new sys­tem, it’s a com­plete rethink­ing of how col­ors are mixed and ref­er­enced. It isn’t intend­ed to replace PMS, but it will func­tion as an inno­v­a­tive adjunct to the PMS–providing a new way to think about and com­mu­ni­cate col­or in the PANTONE way.

The Sum of the Parts

The PANTONE Goeâ„¢ System com­pris­es both print and soft­ware com­po­nents that allow design­ers to spec­i­fy and effec­tive­ly com­mu­ni­cate col­or on a lev­el that the PMS does not yet provide–and with more than twice as many col­or pos­si­b­li­ties. The parts include:

  • The PANTONE GoeGuideâ„¢–a fan-guide, sim­i­lar to PMS swatch guides, con­tain­ing all new Goe System col­ors, arranged in the log­i­cal Goe numer­i­cal pro­gres­sion. All a user needs know is the Goe System numer­ic, and they should be able to go straight to the col­or.
  • PANTONE GoeSticksâ„¢–Two vol­umes of inno­v­a­tive adhe­sive col­or chips that can be arranged tem­porar­i­ly on a “Palette Playground” and then, when a palette is decid­ed on, stuck per­ma­nent­ly on palette cards for future ref­er­ence
  • myPANTONEâ„¢ Palettes–soft­ware that makes choos­ing and explor­ing col­or in the PANTONE Goe System childs’ play, and helps to ana­lyze images to pro­duce cus­tom palettes, which can also be shared with the world via the myPANTONE​.com online com­mu­ni­ty.

A design­er wish­ing to come to spec col­or for a cor­po­rate web pres­ence might pro­ceed per­force:

  1. Gathering image files from the client, the design­er can ana­lyze them via the myPANTONE Palettes’ imagePALETTE builder. This will iso­late indi­vid­ual dis­tinc­tive col­ors with­in the sys­tem and pro­vide ways to save these com­bi­na­tions. They can also share and get feed­back from fel­low design­ers and chro­mophiles at myPANTONE​.com
  2. Once a few like­ly com­bi­na­tions are found, the design­er might then use the PANTONE GoeSticks to exper­i­ment with how the col­ors look in com­bi­na­tion, using the Palette Playground. If a few com­bi­na­tions catch that designer’s eye, they can be trans­ferred to a palette card for future ref­er­ence
  3. After the col­or palette has been decid­ed upon, the design­er can then turn to the GoeGuide and use the infor­ma­tion to trans­late the palette into RGB and PMS equiv­a­lents. Any oth­er Goe System user will be able to go direct­ly to the col­or required, using the log­i­cal Goe System num­ber­ing pro­gres­sion

Pantone Goe Imagepalette builder

myPANTONE Palettes in action (Image Courtesy PANTONE)

This is just one pos­si­ble work­flow. It is prob­a­bly appar­ent that with mul­ti­ple points of entry, one of the PANTONE Goe System’s chief strengths is flex­i­bil­i­ty. If some­one want­ed to start by, for instance, play­ing with GoeSticks, there’s noth­ing to stop them. For those who love rif­fling through a swatch guide, the infor­ma­tion gleaned there can “go” direct­ly into myPANTONE Palettes for fur­ther exper­i­men­ta­tion.

The Tao of Goe

PANTONE Goe System is not, as men­tioned, intend­ed as a replace­ment for PMS–at any event, not straight away. With its sim­pli­fied and struc­tured way of look­ing at col­or, from the reduced num­ber of commonly-available inks form­ing the basics of the mix­ing sys­tem to the way it bridges the gap between chips, guides, and soft­ware enabling enhanced com­mu­ni­ca­tion and shar­ing, it cer­tain­ly sug­gests a way that col­or spec­c­ing could evolve from the present state of the art.

PANTONE has always been about stan­dard, pre­dictable results. With the PANTONE Goe System there comes the pos­si­b­li­ty more confusion-free shar­ing and com­mu­ni­cat­ing of what every­one wants, which means that no mat­ter who looks at your spec­i­fi­ca­tions, you’ll like­ly get what was intend­ed, which is def­i­nite­ly a win-win sit­u­a­tion for every­body.

The PANTONE Goe System is slat­ed for release 1 October 2007.

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