Pantone Color Chaos 2014: 84 new Pantone Plus color Pantone annoy users


Pantone has added a further 84 colors to ist Pantone Plus color palette in March 2014. The the total amount of the Pantone Plus color now extends to 1755 colors as Pantone writes on his website. The colors were – matching the Pantone color of the year: Radiant Orchid – expanded in the Rouge and Pink range, based on the previous base colors.

Two other changes compared to the previous 50th Anniversary PANTONE guides are visible:

  • The cover sheets have been redesigned
  • The order of color arrangement has now changed by going to chromatic criteria and now corresponds to the chromatically correct order. The colors from 2010 and 2012 have now been logically integrated into the new color fans.

For the CMYK guides and the Premium Metallics and Neons & pastel color guides only the cover pages have been updated. Graphic artists and the printing industry should forthwith upgrade its Solid Coated and Solid Uncoated guides to those of 2014 or newer.

Customers are annoyed by Pantone Product Policy

Since the year 2010, there has been chaos in the PANTONE Plus color portfolio, which is not improved by the new color guides generation. At present, there are four parallel Pantone Plus color guides on the market, three of them with different number of colors included in the guide, although that is hardly communicated by Pantone.

The same is true for the Pantone product partners such as Adobe: Hardly any graphic designer knows what Pantone Plus color are integrated into Adobe the specific Version since neither Pantone nor Adobe characterize their color guide generation different. Pantone’s statement: “Compatible with today’s digital workflows – colors can be easily updated in leading design applications” translates rather: “What Pantone colors you see in your application, is pure cuincidence – depending on the update status and your manual intervention.”

Even Pantone has no idea about Pantone Plus

In the last post on about Pantone Plus two screenshots of Pantone websites were shown, where Pantone has released completely different figures on the newly added colors. On the Pantone Plus page showed as follows:

Screenshot Pantone Website 13.03.2014: Pantone Farbenchaos

At least the total number of colors is however indisputable: 1677 spot colors.

Equally undisputed that Pantone has new colors added so far 84 new colors. A simple addition helps: 1761 colors. Right?

Pantone Plus Farben Stand 13.03.2014

False. According to Pantone, there are 1755. Whether Pantone has forgotten six colors, or six colors have been removed from the current color guide, remains a mystery.

It fits into the picture that the current version of the 39 Euro Pantone Color Manager knows neither the current nor the Pantone Plus subjects previously available in the Pantone 50th Anniversary color guide. When Pantone will integrate its own colors in its own products, thus remains to be seen.

Screenshot Pantone Color Manager 3.13.2014. Neither the Pantone 50th Anniversary subjects nor the current Pantone Plus courses from 2014 in the current Pantone Color Manager software.

Screenshot Pantone Color Manager 3.13.2014. Neither the Pantone 50th Anniversary subjects nor the current Pantone Plus courses from 2014 in the current Pantone Color Manager software.

Addendum 15.03.2014:

After I had informed Pantone about my annoyance I received from Pantone the following explanations:

The colors in the Pantone Color Manager are submitted as soon as possible
The six colors are missing because six PANTONE GOE basic colors have been removed, as they were not used as basic colors by PANTONE anymore.
My knowledge was so, that at the last update, four new basic colors from the Pantone GOE range had been added to PANTONE Plus: Pantone Bright Red, Pink, Medium Purple and Dark Blue, and that therefore the number of Pantone Matching System base colors would rise from 14 to 18. If this case, however, two colors would indeed still be missing. Pantone wrote me this: “When the two systems were separated, 6 Goe Colors Base were the exact same colors found in the Pantone Matching System When we printed these base inks, they had very slightly different ink film so we called them different BaseNames:

PANTONE Medium Yellow = PANTONE Yellow 012
PANTONE Bright Orange = PANTONE Orange 021
PANTONE Medium Blue = PANTONE Process Blue
PANTONE Bright Green = Green PANTONE
PANTONE Neutral Black = Black PANTONE

Now that the Goe has been discontinued we only used the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM name for these base colors.”

This now explains the lack of colors: 6 Pantone Goe basic colors disappeared due to the unification. This is the number of really active color preferences:


And the number of Pantone base colors has risen in Pantone Plus by four to now:


Grafipress announced plans to deliver the new color guides from Monday, March 17, 2014as they are by now only announced by PANTONE.

Addendum 18.03.2014

We’ve received the new Pantone color guides today. For curiosities sake, I compared the first few pages and yes: found some inconsistencies. My request for Pantone remained unanswered until now unfortunately … 🙂

I have put the current Pantone Plus guide of March 2014 against the last Pantone 2013 color guide and found some errors.

I have put the current Pantone Plus guide of March 2014 against the last Pantone 2013 color guide and found some errors.


Addendum 03.04.2014

After a long conversation with an employee of PANTONE Germany it is clear: the lack of color of PANTONE Bridge subjects are the PANTONE metallics and neon basic colors, as the colors are no longer included in the standard solid Uncoated color guide. They were left out due to poor representability in CMYK in Bridge subjects. Only the Panone base colors that are part of the PANTONE Matching System are included in the color guides, resulting in the different number of colors. The false statement on the German Pantone website is to be corrected as soon as possible.

This explains some errors, but makes others still not really logical. The most important good news for PANTONE user is: The conversion and extension of the PANTONE Plus color palette due to the discontinuation of PANTONE GOE seems completed in 2014. Aside from minor adjustments such as the adaptation of the the PANTONE GOE base colors in Premium Metallics guide, according to the staff member no large innovations and additions are still to come. It remains to be hoped that after 2014 little rest will come in the PANTONE color cosmos.

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