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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Major changes to Pantone PMS color system

Pantone® has made major changes to the Pantone Matching System (PMS) in recent years that have both positive and negative implications for designers.

1—Additional solid color range
Since the start of the system the use of the terms "coated" (with a "C" suffix) and "uncoated" (with a "U" suffix) have been misleading as they really referred to "gloss" and "matte" and it is possible to get "matt" coated paper.

In addition to the various video colors, they have also introduced a set of "Matte" (with an "M" suffix) colors. The main difference between the "U" and "M" range is that the samples for "M" are printed on heavier paper. Matte is printed on 100 lb (148 gsm) paper whereas Uncoated is printed on 90 lb (133 gsm) paper.
The positive side of this is that the numbering is more realistic. I can't see any negative issues here.

2—New numbering system
This is the most significant change. The new system is called the Goe (pronounced "go") system. For the time being the old system remains in place and they are running both, but designers need to be aware of the change. For more information visit the Pantone web site.

The new system is better suited to modern graphic design and has 2,058 colors c,pared to the 1,114 colors in the PMS system. I suspect that there will be confusion for a time till people find out that the Goe system exists. It was introduced in 2007 and, to date, we have not had any of our customers refer to it.

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