Updating Pantone library: what to buy?

meanjean's picture

So, I'm finally going to upgrade my Pantone books--I've had mine for so long, I have no idea what to buy now--there are so many Pantone products. For a freelance print designer, what is the standard set these days? My current set is just the solid chips: coated and uncoated.

Are there any Pantone do-it-all books that have the solid chips, as well as CMYK and RGB formula equivalents?

TIA,
Jean

jonathanhughes's picture

I don't have any recommendations on what books to get (I need to update mine, as well), but I just got an e-mail from them today about a trade-in program that could save you some money:

Go to pantone.com/chipin

Bert Vanderveen's picture

There are sets that offer real value (combining several swatch books at a lower cost than the combined total for separate ones).

IMO the bare minimum a designer should own is:
formula guide solid uncoated
same coated
4-colour process guide coated (EURO when in Europe)
same uncoated

Less imminent, but nice to have: formula guide solid matte

And guess what? There is a nice case with all of these PLUS
color bridge coated — which has rgb/html/cmyk with cmyk and pms-samples
added as a bonus.

. . .
Bert Vanderveen BNO

meanjean's picture

thanks! it's definitely a lot pricier than when i bought my current set ;)

Special-K's picture

Definitely a Solid to Process coated. It shows on one side, the solid ink, and as CMYK on the other. There is a big difference in some colors printing CMYK versus spot color. You might consider getting a uncoated too, cause ink on a uncoated paper look much darker & duller, cause the ink soaks into the paper instead of laying on top of it. If you want to go all the way, get a metallic book and pastel book too.

If you're plugged in with a commercial printer you might be able to get free ones from them, especially if you send a lot of business their way. Get hold of a print salesman, they will do anything for a commission. We used to get new books every year until the economy went down the crapper. It's recommended (by Pantone) that you get a new book every year, but lets be real...

They have this new GOE system that Pantone is pushing, but I've not heard of anyone yet using it here in the USA. Maybe cause a lot of printers have folded, and printers in general, are resistant to change. Maybe cause of the sweatshop mentality of management from predigital? You would be surprised how many pothead printers there are still out there too, but I'm rambling on...

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