Pantone is well known in the designer circle; designers are trained by using Pantone Matching System to study color order system, designers are educated to use Pantone color library to select and assign the colors for their work, and designers are paid special attention to “Pantone Color of the Year” to create artwork, news, even merchandise based on the selected color. However, the Pantone products designers are familiar with are mostly paper, plastic or textile based. The Pantone Color System, Pantone Color Library, Color Book or Color Guide are primarily printed on paper or dyed on textile substrates. How does a monitor brand like BenQ connected with Pantone, or the designer circle? Pantone Validated Certification plays an important role to bridge the physical color swatches and the digital data together.
Pantone formally was a printing company back in 1960’s, but soon it realized the graphic arts industry was lacking an effective color communication standard. Therefore, it introduced the first Pantone Matching System in 1963 to serve as a color communication system with 500 colors. Pantone Matching System has been evolved ever since with more colors and in different substrates, even in different media. Nowadays, Pantone Matching System has been expanded to more than 1,300 colors, and including paper substrates, plastics, textile, and even in electronic libraries. In 2007, X-rite, a leading manufacturer of color measurement and management products acquired Pantone.
In 2019, BenQ announced a wide range of monitors which are “Pantone Validated” certified, including both DesignVue Designer monitor PD series and PhotoVue Photographer monitor SW series. BenQ is the first professional display brand offers dedicate professional monitors which have obtained Pantone Validated Certification. But what people do not know is that X-rite, Pantone and BenQ had started the certification discussion many years ago, back in 2013. And BenQ had started to push for the certification ever since. This is all because BenQ has seen the needs of a color certification scheme for designers.
The benefit of creating / obtaining Pantone Validated Certification has to link back to the latest Pantone product, PantoneLIVE. PantoneLIVE is a digital version of the Pantone color library and is a cloud-based service. The goal is for the brand-owners, designers, pre-press operators and press operators to access the same database, the same color values for the same job they are working on. It is referred as managing colors in the cloud. The concept is great, but when comes down to realization, the first problem people will encounter is: “which monitor should I trust since colors from different monitors are very different?” Hence, this is where Pantone Validated Certification comes in. The certification tests the monitor’s ability to accurately reproduce Pantone colors, and if the monitor can reproduce certain percentage of Pantone colors accurately, then the monitor is awarded Pantone Validated Certification. The test easily involves thousands of colors. Therefore, the benefit to the designers is, when the designer needs a reliable monitor, he or she could check whether this monitor has received Pantone Validated Certification. If so, then the designers could be confident that the Pantone colors he or she sees from the monitor are accurate; are no different from the physical color books or guides Pantone produces.
The second question might be raised is that “which monitor from BenQ should I choose? DesignVue PD series or PhotoVue SW seriesThey both have been awarded Pantone Validated Certification.” A simple answer to this question could be the budget you have, but a deeper thought could be given that whether calibration will be carried out at a later stage. PD series monitors’ Pantone Validated Certification is based on Factory Preset Mode, and SW series monitors’ Pantone Validated Certification is based on both Factory Preset Mode and Calibration Mode. Which means both PD and SW monitors users can enjoy out-of-the-box Pantone color accuracy, and for SW series users, even after using BenQ proprietary hardware calibration software, Palette Master Element, users can also benefit from validated Pantone colors!
BenQ, X-rite and Pantone has started the discussion of Pantone Validated Certification to provide designers, brand owners, pre-press operators, press operators and Pantone Matching System users a way to validate monitor’s Pantone Color rendering capability. Been the first professional monitor brand awarded Pantone Validated Certification, Pantone Matching System users using BenQ DesignVue Designer PD series and PhotoVue Photographer SW series can ensure not only accurate color, but accurate Pantone colors! It is a perfect match with PantoneLIVE, a cloud-based service to allow users to view, select Pantone color database with more confidence.