By Neil Bennett | on May 01, 2008
Pros: Unique combination of functions; easy-to-use software; well-designed.
Cons: Painful installation; poor manual.
However necessary, colour management is one of the least ‘sexy’ parts of digital design. With the ColorMunki Design, though, Pantone is trying to make colour more exciting – and they’ve largely succeeded. It’s a winning mix of cute hardware and ludicrously easy-to-use software with a unique mix of colour tools.
The ColorMunki Design is a tool that allows creatives to calibrate their monitors and printers (and projectors) for accurate output; ‘scan’ anything and use its colour as the basis for a colour palette; create palettes from these – or from images – using colour rules; modify these palettes based on Pantone’s own Goe ink systems or process colours, and export them to standard design tools such as those within Adobe’s CS3 or QuarkXPress.
The ColorMunki is a thick, palm-sized block of a device that connects to your Mac or PC via a long USB cable. The design owes a lot to Apple’s iPod, with a large wheel in its centre that moves the sensor around to one of four modes: ambient light measurement (for monitor calibration); projector measurement; self-calibration; and an ‘everything else’ notch for monitor, printer and object colour measurement. These aren’t labelled but the software clearly tells you what setting to turn the wheel to, and stops you if it’s on the wrong one.