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.
Palettes can be exported in formats suitable for recent versions of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or InDesign, plus Corel Draw, Corel Designer and QuarkXPress 7, with a choice of Lab, sRGB or Adobe 1998 RGB (Lab would be best for digital print). myPantone Palettes gives a choice of sRGB or Adobe RGB for on-screen viewing. The latest QuarkXPress release – 7.3.1 – has also added the full Goe set.
The program launches as a small multi-tabbed floating window with lots of icon commands. Unfortunately this window can’t be enlarged, and is too small to assess colours properly in the vertical colour bar or some of the colour blocks.
Pantone Goe offers several ways of choosing colours, either singly or as a palette of automatically generated harmonious or graduated groups. There’s a circular or square picker, or you can type in RGB or HTML Hex values which snap to the nearest Goe/PMS value. Alternatively there’s also a scrolling list of all Goe and PMS colours.
You can type in a PMS colour number and see the nearest equivalent Goe value (or vice versa). It doesn’t tell you how close the match is though: techies might like to see a delta-e prediction of the colour shift between a PMS and Goe colour.
The Windows version has an eyedropper sampler that lets you select a colour from any on-screen window and import this. This isn’t implemented for Mac yet.
Alternatively, you can import a bitmap image (such as a photograph) into the imagePalette Builder tab and automatically generate a palette from up to 12 colours within it. The choice is sometimes eccentric, but can be manually adjusted.
Goe’s logical numbering and extra colours will doubtless attract designers, but it has drawbacks. As the original PMS set isn’t duplicated in Goe, many designers and printers will have to buy both sets. Although not confined to Goe, the issue of digital printers not being able to handle spot colours is also set to be an increasingly prevalent problem in the future.