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Pantone turns iPhone into Color Studio on the Go

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

CARLSTADT, N.J. – Over the last several years there has been a fundamental shift in the way designers work – projects have become more digital, and inspiration more spontaneous. Pantone LLC, an X-Rite company and the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, today announced myPANTONE, an iPhone application for the changing needs of today's designer. myPANTONE gives graphic, digital, multimedia, fashion, interior and industrial designers the freedom to capture, create and share PANTONE Color Palettes – wherever they go and whenever they find inspiration.

"myPANTONE marries the power of the iPhone with the inspiration of PANTONE Color Palettes, enabling designers to be creative whenever inspiration strikes them. Providing a digital, portable design studio and essential color tools at their fingertips, myPANTONE gives designers the freedom to access PANTONE Colors anywhere, without the need to be in their office or carry around cumbersome guides," said Andy Hatkoff, vice president of technology licensing for Pantone. "Now with myPANTONE's Portable Color Memory in their pocket, designers no longer need to agonize trying to recall an exact color."

With myPANTONE, designers have access to all the PANTONE Color Libraries, including the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM for coated, uncoated and matte stock; the PANTONE Goe System for coated and uncoated stock; PANTONE PASTELS for coated and uncoated stock; and the PANTONE FASHION + HOME SMART Color System. The application also enables designers to easily create harmonious color palettes by finding complementary, analogous and triadic combinations for selected colors.

myPANTONE takes advantage of the iPhone's built-in camera to let designers capture whatever inspires them – from architecture and street scenes to fashion and nature. Colors can be extracted from any photo on the iPhone and then matched to the closest PANTONE Colors.

Once created, users can share color palettes with other iPhone users and automatically post notification of new palettes to Facebook and Twitter, attaching text notes and voice annotations to palettes when posting. Color palettes can be emailed to colleagues and clients as color patches, or as application-ready swatch files for use in design applications including Adobe Creative Suite (.ase), CorelDraw and QuarkXPress. Designers can also share their color palettes with other designers by sending them to the Pantone-hosted Web site, www.mypantone.com.

Each color swatch in myPANTONE includes sRGB, HTML and L*a*b* values. Additionally, myPANTONE provides invaluable cross-referencing color capabilities to make it simple for users to find similar colors among the various PANTONE Color Libraries. For example, users can identify the PANTONE Goe Color that most closely matches a given PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM Color.

Pricing, Availability and System Information
myPANTONE is available for download at the Apple iPhone App Store for U.S. $9.99/€7.99/£6.99. myPANTONE is compatible with iPhone OS 3.0 or higher, and can be used on the iPhone or iPod Touch.

Note from Cary Sherburne regarding this announcement:

Today’s announcement of PANTONE’s iPhone application for designers signals a fundamental shift in the way designers work.  According to PANTONE’s Andy Hatkoff, “The iPhone offers unique things in terms of user interfaces, and designers can now take PANTONE colors with them anywhere they go.”   He points out that PANTONE’s iPhone app, available at $9.99, lets designers create color palettes from all of the PANTONE color libraries, although metallics are not included since it is problematic to get a reasonable representation of metallics on screen. 

I saw a demo of the application, and although I must admit I am not an iPhone user, I felt like running out and getting one just for this app!  PANTONE has maintained the familiar fan shape designers are used to with PANTONE color guides, and the user simply drags her finger over the rainbow bar just like sliding her fingers through the fan guide, or you can go directly to a color, dragging that color to one of the five palette placeholders at the bottom of the screen.  Just like other PANTONE applications such as Color Munki, the software can extract harmonious colors once a palette is selected.  A palette can also be built based on a photograph or other element the designer plans to useDesigners can use the software to extract five dominant colors from an entire image or photo, or use a virtual loupe to hone in on a specific area of the image. Palettes can be shared with others via email as an HTML image, or directly for use within software applications. Although there are only five palette placeholders, the user can scroll left or right to reveal up to ten palettes. 

Although it is not a color correct tool, since there will be many variants from phone to phone, it is a handy inspirational tool. Another facet I find interesting is the inclusion of the PANTONE FASHION + HOME SMART Color System in this application, which extends its value to interior decorators or just plain folks that are visiting Home Depot or Macy’s to pick out paint or accessories.

PANTONE continues its high level of innovation.  It is always fascinating to me to see what they will come out with next!




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