Pantone Color in Quarantine

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The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed all of us into new DIY frontiers—and for designers, that often includes color matching.

With many cut off from their regular office gear (not to mention pro-grade lighting), today, Pantone is rolling out a proposed solution: the Pantone Color Match Card.

The credit-card–sized tool made of laminated paper board calibrates a phone’s camera to capture color in real time from anything (using a dual measurement with flash and ambient light), and automatically syncs it with a color from across Pantone’s spectrum of systems. The Pantone Connect mobile app then saves captured colors into palettes for sharing with team members or working within the Pantone Connect Extension app for Adobe products.

“While designers have previously taken photos with their phone to capture Pantone colors from images, the results were more inspirational vs. accurate,” says Nick Bazarian, Senior Product Manager for Pantone Digital Solutions. “A designer’s phone has now become a legitimate color capture device to match the physical world more accurately to Pantone Colors, as well as a workflow productivity tool to shorten the color communication process.”

The cards are available to purchase in single units for $14.99, or team bundles of 25 for $300. As part of Pantone’s COVID-19 initiative launched in April, Pantone Connect accounts are also still free through July 8.

The company plans to continue to expand the platform through 2020 and 2021, delving deeper into the Adobe Creative Cloud suite as well as providing connection to color devices from X-Rite, Pantone and others.

Accurate color matching may seem like a low priority in the face of a global pandemic, but as quarantine continues, smart (and affordable) solutions will continue to be needed to upgrade creative professionals’ home offices so they can produce at the levels they used to, pre-COVID.