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1999 press releases



Ellen Pinto
Pantone, Inc.

PANTONE HexImage™ Expands Color-Enhancing
Capabilities of Adobe® Photoshop®

New Plug-in Provides Six-color Hexachrome®† Separations Using
Industry-standard ICC Profiles Within Photoshop Workflow

Carlstadt, NJ, June 28, 1999 - Pantone, Inc. today announces PANTONE HexImage™, an integrated plug-in for Adobe Photoshop which enables users to create six-color Hexachrome separations using industry-standard ICC profiles. With HexImage™, designers, service bureaus and print shops can take advantage of the expanded color gamut of Hexachrome within the Photoshop workflow. HexImage utilizes the features included in Photoshop version 5 that support color management, specification of custom defined spot color channels and automation functions.

Hexachrome is an ultra high fidelity process printing technology that renders almost twice the number of colors than is possible with commercial four-color process offset printing. With Hexachrome, it is finally possible to accurately reproduce the vibrant as well as subtle colors which can be viewed on computer monitors but which previously could not be duplicated in print. HexImage expands the capabilities of Photoshop by allowing users to manipulate and drastically improve the color gamut of images and automatically produce six-color Hexachrome separations with the touch of a button directly from within Photoshop. The specially developed ICC profiles included in HexImage provide for a variety of printing conditions for Hexachrome to ensure the best possible color output for different printing environments and parameters.

"The increasing competition placed on the print medium by the Internet necessitates print to deliver more compelling results than ever before," said Richard Herbert, senior vice president of Pantone. "Hexachrome provides a distinct visual advantage over electronic media with bold, previously unprintable color and therefore adds an incremental and significant benefit to communicating in print versus the Web. HexImage allows Photoshop users to produce Hexachrome artwork with no significant change to the traditional workflow."

"Hexachrome has tapped into a color space that is more than a technical nuance and more of an emotional space of human responses to colorful imagery," said Ernest Miller, Sr., president of PressReady Imaging, a prepress corporation located in Portland, Oregon. "For my business, this improvement in printed quality suggests that I should not sell Hexachrome to professional graphic arts buyers as merely an improvement in technology, but on the benefits of a better performing advertising circular, a printed piece that will more noticeably motivate his customer to make a purchase of his products."

Overcome the Limitations of CMYK
HexImage automatically separates RGB, L*a*b* and CMYK artwork into Hexachrome six-channel output with the touch of a button, providing Photoshop users with the ability to overcome the color restrictions inherent in four-color process printing by utilizing the expanded color gamut of Hexachrome. Image separations are saved as DCS 2.0 files to place in page layout and graphics programs such as QuarkXPress™.

Use Industry-Standard ICC Profile Formats
HexImage is compatible with color managed workflows and uses ColorSync® on the Macintosh® platform, ICM 2.0 on Windows® 98 and uses profiles that conform to the ICC profile standard. Support for ICC profiles provides the best possible reproduction of color throughout the workflow and allows users to create and use their own custom developed profiles using profile creation and editing software that support Hexachrome (such as ITEC's ColorBlind®). The new plug-in also includes profiles for positive and negative working plates for offset printing and two different levels of black generation. Profiles for flexographic printing and other printing environments will be made available on Pantone's Web site.

    Soft-proofing Capabilities
    HexImage uses new Automation tools for Photoshop that will automatically re-composite imagery, allowing users to preview and edit Hexachrome separations directly from within Photoshop. Hexachrome separated images can be compared to images separated in four-color in order to see the difference Hexachrome can provide. In addition, color curves can be tweaked directly from within Photoshop to easily adjust individual color layers.

    System Requirements, Pricing and Availability
    PANTONE HexImage will be available for both Macintosh and Windows. It is compatible with Adobe Photoshop 5.x. Macintosh system requirements are OS 7.6.1 or later and ColorSync 2.5 or later. Windows requirement is Windows 98. HexImage will be available summer '99 for a special introductory price of $199.00 (SRP $249.00) directly from Pantone's Web site. A trial download will be available free of charge.

    PANTONE HexVector™
    PANTONE HexVector, the companion product to PANTONE HexImage, is a cross-platform plug-in for Adobe Illustrator® that allows graphic designers, packaging designers, prepress and service bureaus to design original artwork in Hexachrome, convert existing artwork to Hexachrome and create six-color separations from within the Illustrator workflow. HexVector™ is currently available for a special introductory price of $99.00 (SRP $129.00) directly from Pantone's Web site at

    Value-Priced Bundle
    PANTONE® HexWare™ is a value-priced Hexachrome®† toolkit which makes the cost of entry into the Hexachrome process minimal for designers, prepress professionals and printers. It contains the PANTONE HexVector™ plug-in for Adobe® Illustrator® and the PANTONE HexImage™ plug-in for Adobe Photoshop®. HexWare will be available summer '99 for a special introductory price of $239.00 (SRP $299.00).

    Hexachrome - An Ultra High Quality Printing Process
    PANTONE Hexachrome®† is an ultra high quality printing process developed by Pantone, Inc. to provide dramatically improved color range and accuracy over four-color process printing with one pass on a six-color press. In addition to reproducing more brilliant continuous-tone images, Hexachrome is capable of accurately reproducing over 90% of the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM® Colors, almost twice the number that can be achieved using conventional four-color process printing.

    Pantone, Inc., the leading global source of products for the selection, control and accurate communication of color, is the developer of the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM, the PANTONE Process Color System® and the PANTONE Hexachrome six-color ultra high quality process system. They provide three distinct global languages for color specification and reproduction. PANTONE Color Systems have been widely accepted and utilized by designers and printers since 1963 and are currently in use in almost 100 countries throughout the world. Pantone, Inc. is an ISO 9002 registered company. Visit our Web site at

    All trademarks used herein are either the property of Pantone, Inc. or other companies. †Pantone, Inc.'s six-color printing process is the subject of U.S. Patent No. 5,734,800.
    Adobe®, Illustrator® and PageMaker® are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems, Inc.

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