Goe System for Pantone
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Tools to systematize color expertise and energize sales
Pantone has been setting the universal standard for accurate color communication since 1963, providing printers and design professionals with proprietary services, technology, and the iconic Pantone guides and chip books. Updated annually, the guides and chip books are Pantone’s largest revenue generators. As such, these tools represented the Pantone Matching System’s core interface—tangible, immediate, and easy to use. To build on these components to better serve the changing needs of designers and printers, Pantone sought IDEO’s human-centered approach to innovation.
In researching usage habits of Pantone Matching System customers, IDEO found they often deferred repurchasing of the guides and chip books rather than renewing the system annually. Reasons for this pointed to the changing needs of a market that was shifting largely from print to digital media. In response, IDEO reframed Pantone’s customer focus to include the larger creative community—plastics manufacturers, furniture designers, fabric designers, interior designers and so on—in addition to its core lithography clientele. With this reframing came new print- and web-based tools and design solutions to complement the color guide family and inspire regular upgrades, including a 180-degree chromatically organized color wheel; more easily referenced numbering; an index of suggested color palettes and combinations; sticker sheets; conversation-starting palette decks; and new dynamic software to assist experts and non-experts in deciphering complex color relationships. Conceived of by IDEO, the new software components demanded a high degree of execution from Pantone, resulting in a highly interactive colorspace that promotes collaboration and sharing, and enables any image to be automatically color coded by the Pantone Matching System.
Pantone’s updated product offering enables vendors to create value by imparting expert production knowledge to employees of varying experience levels. In addition, designers can now systematize their intent and choices for clear communication with others in and outside of the industry.
Project date: 2007