Introducing Pantone Plus

Posted inColor & Design
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If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to upgrade that faded, shreddedPantone chipbook, here it is: Pantone has released its new Pantone Plus System,the company’s most comprehensive upgrade to the Pantone Matching Systemin a decade. Plus expands some of the innovations of the 2007 PantoneGoe release (like chromatic arrangement and uniform ink thickness)across Pantone’s flagship product set. Here’s what’s new.

566 more colors

  1. 224 more solids

  2. 300 more metallics (with improved color-fidelity when coated)

  3. 42 fresh neons

Chromatic arrangement

Finally, the Pantone Matching System organizes colors by shade, so when you need a yellow, you can turn to that color-family and peruse Pantone’s full range of butter and custard, canary and bumblebee, or schoolbus and taxi shades. (Plus retains the historical color numbers for each shade and includes an index to locate colors by Pantone number quickly.)

Better color coordination

The Plus System smoothes out nearly every trace of friction you might have previously encountered while importing colors across software tools, into related media or even internationally. Plus comes loaded with Color Manager software (available June 10, free-of-charge) to update your digital tools with your new Pantone colors, including Adobe Creative Suite 5. Color Bridge translates these new shades into process colors of various kinds and introduces a single tool version for international use. ColorChecker Lighting Indicator lets you quickly verify that you’re in a room suitably lit for accurate color-checking.

The Plus System is rounded out with two iPhone apps: myPantone ($9.99) lets you capture, develop or share Pantone color palettes on-the-go, while myPantone X-ref ($1.99) shows you the closest match of a shade from one Pantone library to another. (Check out the 25 best color apps for the iPhone here.)

The new release also uses the same 14 ink bases printers are already using for PMS print jobs, with more consistent ink film thicknesses for improved on-press matching. The system’s books and chips also come printed on text-weight paper instead of cover-weight, a welcome shift to a more common paper-stock for design projects. It also coordinates seamlessly with Adobe, Agfa Graphics, Canon, EFI, Epson, Esko, Heidelberg, Quark and Xerox products.

Finally, you can trade in your old Pantone books via the Chip In program to earn up to a $50 rebate on an upgrade purchase. Believe us: your trusty Pantone chipbook is probably a wonkier color-match than you imagine, and prices for a Plus upgrade are reasonable (and tax-deductible).

If you’ve upgraded already, tell us what you think about the new product in the comments below. You can also check out first-day product reviews at CoolHunting and Core77.

Now on My Design Shop

The new Pantone Plus Series is the next generation of the Pantone Matching System, featuring hundreds of new colors to inspire your creativity and expand your palette. Save up to 20% off retail when you purchase from