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Pantone Launches ColorVantage System for Inkjet Printers

Press release from the issuing company

CARLSTADT, N.J.--Nov. 24, 2003-- Pantone, Inc., the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries for 40 years, today announced that it is expanding its business by entering the inkjet market with a series of products that address the unserved need for professional-quality reproduction in inkjet printing systems. This is the first step in Pantone's strategy to take its professional color brand and expertise directly to the people. Pantone, a pioneer in digital color for 20 years, is the first company to deliver a closed-loop system of products that work in concert for superior color output without the high cost and complex solutions associated with general-purpose OEM products. PANTONE ColorVantage is a family of premium inkjet products that includes inks, papers and specially developed profiles. The products are designed for applications where the most accurate color reproduction and the widest possible range of color are required. With new application areas opening for inkjet technology, sales of both narrow- and wide-format inkjet hardware, media and inks are expected to see continued growth, climbing from $28.5 billion in 2001 to $40.9 billion by 2006, according to a report issued by IT Strategies in January 2003. "We've been involved in digital printing for the past 20 years and have a deep understanding of the growing needs of this market," said Richard Herbert, president of Pantone, Inc. "There is a burgeoning demand for low cost inkjet printers for reproducing digital photographs, signage, quality graphics and fine art. With PANTONE ColorVantage, we're continuing our 40-year leadership in color science and color fidelity by offering a set of products that work together to deliver unparalleled color reproduction. We plan to prove our product in the professional and prosumer markets, before offering ColorVantage for the higher volume, photo printer market." "We continue to see solid growth in the inkjet market as end users -- from corporations to consumers -- recognize the all around value of inkjet printers as both low-cost and high print quality devices. For color-critical output, such as photos, pigmented inks offer better durability than dye-based inks," explained Larry Jamieson, director of Lyra Research's Hard Copy Industry Advisory Service. "Pantone is a well-known brand in color, its entry into the market should further the acceptance of pigment inks in home and office environments." PANTONE ColorVantage Inks PANTONE ColorVantage inks have a much larger color gamut than those of OEM inks, resulting in richer, deeper, more saturated hues that provide vibrant, true-to-life color reproduction. Using specially pigmented formulations, ColorVantage inks are individually created for the unique characteristics of each supported printer model. In addition to providing superior color quality, the inks dry quicker, have increased lightfastness, and are less prone to color shifts over time than OEM wide-format printer inks. "My artwork has bright and vibrant colors. With standard OEM inkjet inks, I was always disappointed with the levels of saturation and the way the shadow areas seemed to spread out," explained Gail Marie, founder and co-owner of Gail Marie, whose artwork is licensed worldwide for posters, greeting cards, calendars and home and garden decorative furnishings. "The larger color gamut of the PANTONE ColorVantage inks lets me accurately reproduce my art, including purples, yellows and blues, which are often difficult to reproduce cleanly. I was impressed with how well the PANTONE Products performed." PANTONE ColorVantage Papers PANTONE ColorVantage papers provide the best white point and most accurate reproduction when used with PANTONE ColorVantage inks. The paper is available in a variety of finishes -- high-gloss photo, semi-matte proofing, matte and fine art -- and has been selected to achieve optimal color output on inkjet printers. PANTONE ColorVantage Printer Profiles Included in the PANTONE ColorVantage Starter Kit are Pantone-developed custom printer profiles that are optimized for use with the ColorVantage inks and papers to improve color reliability and provide the largest color gamut possible. Printer profile updates will be available at www.pantoneinkjet.com. Pricing and Availability PANTONE ColorVantage pigmented inks are now available through office superstores including Staples online and mail order catalogs such as the Reliable catalog from Boise Cascade, TigerDirect and PC and Mac Mall. The current set of ColorVantage inks are compatible with EPSON® wide-format color printer models 1270, 1280, 5000, 5500, 7000, 7500, 9000 and 9500, as well as EPSON®-compatible printers from Mimaki, Mutoh and Roland. Support for additional printers will be added over time. ColorVantage inks and papers are priced 10 to 15 percent below OEM products. Suggested retail prices for PANTONE ColorVantage Starter Kits, which include all the ink cartridges, a CD with profiles and an easy-to-print PANTONE Color Chart, range from $48 to $605, depending on printer model, with individual replacement cartridges from $21 to $100.