Pantone Adds 84 Colors to the PANTONE PLUS Color Matching System

If there's a single item that you can count on finding within reach of any graphic designer, it's one of the many color matching guides that Pantone has been providing well before the digital era. At the center of a broad product offering, PANTONE FORMULA GUIDES have long provided a consistent method for selecting, matching and specifying the solid PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM colors on coated, uncoated and matte stocks.

Be that as it may, Pantone's Goe System, introduced in 2007, provided a dramatically new approach for designers, by including 2,058 colors arranged in chromatic order for easier selection and specification. It's not clear the degree to which that gained traction, although the price of Goe System Color Specification products was eventually lowered, indicating a need to boost adoption, and they now seem to have been discontinued.

PANTONE PLUS was released in 2010 and included the chromatic arrangement of colors, an expanded palette of spot colors, the addition of new premium metallics and a broader range of neons. PANTONE COLOR MANAGER software was provided with every PLUS SERIES purchase, and was said to allow designers to update their favorite design applications with the new PLUS SERIES Color Libraries. An added feature allowed users to convert spot colors to CMYK simulations based on loaded ICC profiles. Creatives could also access the entire PANTONE PLUS SERIES from their iPhones with the myPANTONE iPhone application, which lets designers capture, create and share PANTONE Color Palette. All guides in the PLUS SERIES also included a ColorChecker Lighting Indicator to show whether current lighting conditions are suitable for color evaluation. In addition, all books were printed on text-weight paper to more closely reflect the majority of printed work today and meet certification standards set forth by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Two years later, Pantone added 336 new colors "inspired" by the Goe System to the PANTONE PLUS SERIES, bringing the total to 1,677 colors. All color families were said to have been extended to include a wider variety of values, saturation and undertones, from subtle pastels and reliable mid-tones to the intensity of deep tones, vivid brights and vital, nuanced neutrals.

So here we are in 2014 and Pantone has provided an additional 84 colors, so perhaps every few years we can look forward to having more colors added to the PLUS SERIES. While having new colors is great, it's clear that a significant element of this approach is simply to induce designers to update their guides. Not that there's anything wrong with that. The new colors are said to "incorporate a broader range of blushes and pinks, as well as a wider variety of vibrant blues, greens and violets," and are available in both coated and uncoated formats, printed on text-weight paper.

More information is available on the Pantone site.