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Pantone and X-Rite Introduce PantoneLIVE;






X-Rite, Incorporated and Pantone LLC, unveiled PantoneLIVE, a cloud based colour service that provides instant access to essential brand colour standards. PantoneLIVE is the first service under the Pantone Digital Business Unit, a newly created division of X-Rite that is the byproduct of Pantone's expertise as the world's colour authority and X-Rite's colour science and technology leadership.

From chocolates and champagne to soda and stilettos, the past year has been wrought with cases of counterfeiting, deception and consumer confusion - all tied to the ubiquitous colours that uniquely identify brands. Cadbury and Veuve Clicquot were involved in high profile legal battles to own their brand colours, while Christian Louboutin fought to trademark its signature red soles. With colour so critically tied to brand identity, inconsistent brand colour can lead to a lack of consumer confidence and lost sales.

In a recent survey conducted by the Pantone Color Institute, more than 70 percent of creatives noted that brand colour definitions, accuracy and consistency in creating products or packaging are important to their business, while 42 percent indicated that colour related challenges have a negative impact on their company. "Nearly 50 years ago, Pantone brought consistency and a common language to an industry that lacked standardisation. Historically an analogue process, reliant on centuries' old colour alchemy, printing and production have advanced with technology in the digital age," said Ron Potesky, senior vice president and general manager of Pantone. "PantoneLIVE digitises the process, taking it from visual and subjective to consistent and repeatable - significantly reducing production timelines and improving the bottom line."

"PantoneLIVE represents a transformational change in colour management for brand owners across their entire supply chain," explained Tom Vacchiano, president and CEO of X-Rite. "Our own Dr. Sonia Megert, whose vision for the digital supply chain led to the development of PantoneLIVE, will head the new Pantone Digital Business Unit."

"Globally consistent colour standards are essential to brand identity. With supply chains made up of hundreds of different facilities scattered around the world, corporations struggle to control and maintain colour consistency," said Dr. Megert. "PantoneLIVE is a dynamic ecosystem, open to all supply chain participants, which delivers consistent colour across the entire packaging workflow - from design concept to retail store shelves."

Brand colour standards are the principal component of PantoneLIVE and are derived from real ink on real substrates using real printing processes. This allows brand owners to predict how corporate spot colours will reproduce on a wide variety of substrates including brown corrugated, clear film and white polypropylene. A brand's colour assets, analogous to a brand's colour DNA, are managed and maintained in a secure cloud based data repository to ensure accurate colour communication - to any supplier, around the world.

"The benefits of using PantoneLIVE are clear," says Nigel Dickie, director of corporate and government affairs for Heinz (see Beanz Meanz Heinz and Knowing about Color case study). "The digital tools gave us unprecedented control and consistency from different print processes and materials. Across all of our packaging formats we saw a reduction in colour variance of 50 percent and saved time by establishing one colour target that can be applied to all our Heinz Beanz designs. The results with our Beanz packaging have been so remarkable that we plan to extend PantoneLIVE to additional product lines, including Heinz soups and Spaghetti Hoops."


PantoneLIVE is connected to a large portfolio of software, containing real world colour data for hundreds of thousands of colours, and is supported by the latest colour measurement technology. This is combined with professional services including workflow and colour rationalisation audits, and customised operating procedures from Pantone and X-Rite. Custom and bespoke spectral data, as well as metadata, are used to digitse brand colours. Digitised palettes are then expanded to create independent colour standards to allow for accurate colour reproduction on a variety of substrates.
Brand colour data, equivalent to a digital colour swatch, is stored in a secure, cloud based portal that lets brand owners and other approved members of the supply chain manage digital rights and facilitate colour communication across all materials in the production process. This centralised colour communication process promotes consistency and helps achieve speed to market efficiencies from initial design to final production. The portal also provides direction to suppliers to meet brand requirements related to colour quality.


PantoneLIVE solutions will be available from June 15. For more information, please see www.pantone.com/live
 
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