How Will The New PANTONE Goe System Affect Your Work?

Did you know the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM® is 45 years old? I didn’t. Back then, the design and publishing industries were vastly different from what they are today—computers weren’t even available to the general public, let alone on each of our desktops as they are today. And yet, we are still throwing ink on rubber blankets with oil and water in order to get the ink on the paper. Ours is an industry where old and new technologies converge. So I am understandably excited that Pantone has announced today a new coloring system, the PANTONE Goeâ„¢, that seeks to update our use of color in design and printing.

Goe set

The PANTONE Goe System’s packaging—very slick, designed for designers. Click to enlarge.

Hard Facts For Designers

Goe will not replace the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM, or PMS. While I would expect Goe to at least affect the way PMS is used in the future, Pantone says PMS will not disappear as a result of Goe. “The original PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM was designed to meet the needs of an industry that was functioning without a precise and reliable way to communicate color,” said Richard Herbert, president of Pantone, Inc. “The PANTONE Goe System works in concert with the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM to empower everyone in the creative and production process with a simpler, more complete, user-friendly workflow from the moment of inspiration to the realization of a finished product.”

Goe has more colors. PMS offers 1,114 colors; Goe offers 2,058 new colors. Not only are there more colors, but the palette has been expanded to meet designers’ needs: green, for example, is a hot color so now there’s plenty more greens to choose from. Designers are always looking for the perfect color to complement their creations, and Goe’s expanded palette should ensure the perfect color exists outside of process color.

Goe swatchbook fanned out

The Goe swatchbook is organized very differently than the standard PANTONE FORMULA GUIDE. Click to enlarge.

The Goe swatchbook (dubbed the “GoeGuideâ„¢” by Pantone) is arranged chromatically. As you can see in the image above, the Goe system is organized so it is far easier to find colors. A big component of this new organizational system is a chromatic arrangement of the colors in swatchbooks.

Goe colors’ numbers mean something. Do you know why “280” means a blue in PMS terms? I don’t know why. But Goe’s numbering system is designed so the numbers do give a clue as to what a color might be. Again, I will explain this in detail.

GoeGuides tell you how to convert its colors to RGB—not CMYK. Goe System colors are all easily converted to RGB: the numbers are right in the GoeGuide, as always. You won’t find CMYK equivalents, however. Pantone knows that the design world is now interdisciplinary, encompasses a variety of media (some of which are not printed with process color), worldwide and more sophisticated than ever. As a result, Goe is moving forward with the RGB model of color.

Hard Facts For Printers And Press Operators

Goe offers more colors but less mixing bases. The PMS uses 14 basic colors as mixing bases, plus PANTONE Clear, with which it gets the other 1,100 colors in its system. Printers wanted to get more colors but with less mixing bases, so Goe reduces the number of mixing bases to 10 (plus PANTONE Clear). This is a big bonus for printers because less inks are required in inventory and it’s easier to obtain these mixing bases worldwide, ensuring that color will be uniform across the world. The mixing bases are also designed to create consistent color with a variety of aqueous and UV coating and papers, and to print with uniform thickness so drying times are reduced and it’s easier to match colors on press.

Here are the Goe mixing bases:

  • PANTONE Medium Yellow
  • PANTONE Medium Purple
  • PANTONE Bright Orange
  • PANTONE Dark Blue
  • PANTONE Bright Red
  • PANTONE Medium Blue
  • PANTONE Strong Red
  • PANTONE Bright Green
  • PANTONE Pink
  • PANTONE Neutral Black
  • PANTONE Clear

The Goe System was created under strict ISO guidelines. Pantone used new, specially engineered presses and an ISO quality management infrastructure (ISO 9001:2000) to produce the Goe System, which means it’s as standards-based as you can get. Its swatchbooks, including its GoeGuides and related products, are produced in the same production environment.

GoeGuides are printed on the closest thing to “standard” paper. The GoeGuide is printed on #1 grade 100 lb coated offset text, which their research indicates is the most common premium paper used today for commercial offset lithography and digital printing.