• Price When Reviewed: 89 . 342

  • Pros: pros: Entirely new specification system has 2,000+ colours; dedicated printing ink mixers; logical numbering system; easy software picker and palette creation.

  • Cons: Does not completely duplicate original PMS colours; potential confusion between sRGB/Adobe RGB; no CMYK process print samples; tiny software window.

  • Expert Rating: We rate this 6 out of 10We rate this 6 out of 10We rate this 6 out of 10We rate this 6 out of 10We rate this 6 out of 10 We rate this 6 out of 10

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This may not wash with a big client who insists its logo use, say, PMS 246 purple worldwide and won’t accept a Goe almost-equivalent. According to myPantone Palettes, the closest match to PMS 246 is Goe 42-1-5, which is distinctly paler.

Consequently many designers will need to keep buying PMS swatch books alongside Goe – both are supposed to be replaced regularly because they fade. Likewise, printing companies will still need PMS inks as well as the Goe set.

Another print issue is that colours are only guaranteed if you use Goe mixer inks on ‘conventional’ presses, with each Goe colour printed with an individual spot colour ink. Digital printers – whether inkjet or laser – cannot print special-mix spot colours at all (some HP Indigo printers being the exception). Magazine printers rarely offer spot colours either, although their presses are conventional. Pre-press separation programs will try to simulate the Goe values (expressed as LAB) out of the available process colours, but many Goe values can never be accurately matched this way.

The same problem affects PMS, but Pantone provides Color Bridge printed books that let you preview and assess PMS and CMYK process printed results side by side. So far there is no Goe Color Bridge.

The core item in both kits is the GoeGuide, a fan-out printed swatch book. This lets you see each colour together with its reference number, plus the ‘recipe’ for mixing it from the Goe inks, and RGB values for creating it in graphics programs that aren’t yet supported by myPantone Palette. These RGB values are actually in the sRGB colour space, but many design programs’ may be set to Adobe RGB, in which case the there’s every chance the colours won’t match – something to be aware of.

The new numbering system is completely different to PMS. It’s based on 165 ‘full-strength’ colours that form a logical sequence if you fan them out in the GoeGuide swatch book. Each full-strength colour is the basis of a ‘family’ of related colours. So Pantone 119-3-1 C (a bright green) can be found in the family 119, on the third page of that family, in the number 1 position (out of 7) on that page. ‘C’ means coated paper.

myPantone Palettes is a utility program for choosing Goe (or PMS) colours and saving them into small palette files, with a maximum of 15 colours, which seems rather limited. There’s a direct link to the myPantone community Web site, where you can share palettes or comment on other people’s.