Pantone is known globally as the go-to guide for color. The chip set is practically a staple for any print designer. But with the world moving further into the digital age, the company found a way to keep its title as the ultimate king of color. The Pantone Studio, a new iOS app the company launched, is a digital chip book and trend guide that the company hopes will be an essential tool for designers.
“In our [market] research, we saw that designers are using mobile tools and they want their phone to be a platform for design and a hub for gathering inspiration,” says senior vice president of Pantone Ron Potesky. “If we’re not mobile, we’re not Pantone in 10 years. It’s a must for us to be important and valuable to designers.”
The app puts everything Pantone is known for in a designer’s pocket. It includes color guides and a section for research, articles, and trend reports from the color connoisseurs at the Pantone Color Institute. The color picker tool, probably the most useful feature, turns a phone into an eyedropper tool that analyzes images to tell the user the image’s color composition.
Designers can learn the RGB, CMYK, and Hex breakdown of hues just by snapping photos of colors and using the app to analyze the image. There is an option to link the app with Adobe creative Cloud to send the information to a computer for use with a design project. The app will even help designers know exactly how to use the color and build a palette by suggesting different color harmonies. It can even design a palette based on mixtures of colors in an image.
“The app was building off of two fundamentals: inspiration and workspace,” says CEO of Rokkan, the design firm that collaborated with Pantone on the app, John Noe. “How does Pantone serve as a greater part of how designers find inspiration and how does Pantone bring work to life in a more fluid and seamless way given how designers think and make today.”
Pantone Studio allows users to link their social media account with the app to share colors and palettes with others. This feature lets designers browse palettes and colors other people use to get inspiration if they need it.
“It’s moving from designing with color to designing because of color,” says Noe. “You start looking at the world around you differently.”
Rather than purchasing an expensive chip book from the company, Pantone hopes that the subscription model for the app will appeal to younger designers. “We believe this is going to offer more value to the design audience and bring in a wider audience [to Pantone],” says Potesky.