Pantone has just introduced the Pantone Plus Series, which expands the capabilities and choices of the current Pantone Matching System. Colors are now arranged chromatically for easier selection and an index is now included in the guides for easier location of colors. The new collection of spot colors has increased, and the selection of neons and premium metallics has also grown considerably.
Although this is an overhaul to the system, all current colors remain the same, avoiding the headaches encountered in the last major overhaul of the Pantone colors. Pantone recommends replacing your old chip books and color guides with the Plus series, and they’ve instituted the Chip In program to help ease the pain. For each book you turn in, you’ll receive a rebate (up to $50) on the purchase of a new one. In addition, Pantone has partnered with the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation charity and will make a donation for each book returned, and they will recycle the old products responsibly.
The Pantone Plus Digital Library for InDesign and QuarkXPress are freely available for download, so that you have the latest range of Pantone colors to choose from. Download the installer for QuarkXPress 7 and 8 here. Download the installer for Adobe products here. (At the time of this writing, the Adobe installer wasn’t available yet.)
In addition, Pantone includes its Color Manager software free with any Pantone Plus purchase. This software gives you instant updating of your design applications, instead of having to wait for each application to include Pantone updates. The public beta version of Color Manager will also be available sometime in June. The old libraries will still be available from within your design program: Pantone Plus colors will be indicated by the “+” following the color name.
Jeff Gamet is a contributing editor for Design Tools Monthly, the executive summary of graphic design news. He is also the morning editor and reviews editor for The Mac Observer and iPodObserver.com, and contributing writer for Layers Magazine and Photoshop User. He writes the InBrief column for InDesign Magazine, and is the author of “The Designer’s Guide to Mac OS X,” from Peachpit Press
When Jeff isn’t writing about the graphic design world, he’s talking about it on the Design Tools Weekly podcast with co-host Jay Nelson. He also talks about Apple and the Mac world every week on The Mac Observer’s Apple Weekly Report.
Jeff studies, tests and reviews new software and technologies for the Macintosh community as well as the design and print industries. He is a former Pre-press specialist, and has nearly 25 years experience with computer technology. Jeff trains, lectures and consults on techniques for more efficiently using Mac OS X in creative environments throughout the country.
In the rare moments when he can get away from his MacBook Pro, Jeff spends his time climbing and biking in the Colorado mountains.