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Fast Formulation for Pantone Color of the Year 2021

Posted December 14, 2020 by X-Rite Color

The Pantone Color of the Year announcement is always exciting. Not only does it set the stage for upcoming trends, it also provides brand owners and designers critical guidance for marketing and product development.

However, those who are charged with manufacturing products and packaging with trending colors (like 2021's Ultimate Gray and Illuminating) know it doesn’t “just happen.” It takes time and effort to incorporate new colors. Whether you work in paints, plastics, textiles, or printing, today’s blog shares formulation solutions that will help you be first to market with the next trend.

Fast Formulation for Pantone Color of the Year | X-Rite Blog
Image courtesy cariuma.com

Why Use Formulation Software?

Developing a new color without using formulation software can be an exercise in futility. It may take a dozen iterations before you get a color that’s visually acceptable if you are developing colors by eye. With formulation software, the process is much faster.

  1. Calculate the formula using your collection of dyes and colorants.
  2. Make your initial formulation and create the sample.
  3. Measure the sample and calculate needed formula adjustments.

It really is that simple. Although many are concerned about the initial expense of investing in a formulation solution, it’s absolutely worth it. Here’s why.

1 - Enjoy a Fast ROI

Formulation software can often get you within tolerance on the first try. If not, it rarely takes more than one or two corrections to calculate the perfect color. When you consider manual mixing takes an average of 12 tries to get it right, formulation software saves labs a lot of time and money during the development and production phases.

2 - Utilize Your Current Supply

Formulation software not only removes the guesswork, it can also calculate a recipe using the actual collection of colorants and dyes you have on hand. Whether you have 6 or 60 available, it will develop the best recipe to quickly get you to your desired color.

Keep in mind, certain colors are tougher to achieve than others. For example, if you have a base with a high amount of titanium dioxide, you may not be able to achieve Ultimate Gray or Illuminating; but formulation software will certainly calculate the closest color faster than trial and error mixing at the bench.

3 - Relax With a Solid Backup Plan

If your staff chemist or ink room technician leaves unexpectedly, who can pick up the reins and keep production moving? X-Rite formulation solutions are intuitive and easy to use. Once you have the system set up with your colorants, one of our applications engineers can train even a novice without an expert’s color background to step in and be successful.

Choose the Right Formulation Solution for Your Needs

We offer two formulation solutions to fit every industry and workflow. Both reduce color formulation time and cost with spectral matching using our multi-flux math model.

For Print and Packaging: InkFormulation Software

InkFormulation Software (IFS) is designed for offset, flexo, gravure, and screen-printing inks. Here are some of the things printers, converters, and ink manufacturers love about IFS:

  • Considers the substrate when formulating inks.
  • Uses existing assortments and recipes to save time in reformulation.
  • Utilizes leftover inks in new recipes.
  • Integrates with PantoneLIVE Production for Print and Packaging for spectral data to formulate custom and Pantone Colors, including 2021's Ultimate Gray and Illuminating.

Fast Formulation for Pantone Color of the Year | X-Rite Blog
Image courtesy VDL Cosmetics.

For Paint, Plastic and Textiles: Color iMatch

Popular for plastics, coatings, and textiles, Color iMatch provides fast, accurate color analysis and colorant formulation.

  • Improves operator efficiency with customizable user interface and workflow prompts.
  • Manages color formulations across a distributed network.
  • Saves time and reduces waste in quality control processes from the laboratory through production.
  • Integrates with PantoneLIVE Production for Plastic, Coatings, and Textile for spectral data to formulate custom and Pantone Colors, including 2021's Ultimate Gray and Illuminating

Both of our formulation solutions are available in a variety of configurations. Many of our customers choose to add quality control, statistical process control, or scoring solutions like Color iQC and ColorCert for the ultimate color workflow quality and efficiency.

Fast Formulation for Pantone Color of the Year | X-Rite Blog

Image courtesy lokai.com

Learn More About Formulating Color of the Year

Whether you’ll soon be tasked with producing Pantone Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, are trying to quickly turn around trending colors, or just want to make your color creation process as fast and accurate as possible, formulation software may be the right answer for you. We’re happy to help you choose the best solution for your needs and integrate it into your existing workflow.

Get in touch to learn more.