Colour Cue

Every studio has a desk littered with fan-like Pantone swatches printed on different stocks for designers to accurately select, specify and communicate solid colours. Using swatches eliminates guesswork in colour selection and verification, and Pantone’s naming convention makes it easy to communicate colours by distinct number or name. You feel safe phoning a printer on the other side of the world with specific colour specifications, knowing that you’re both talking about the same thing, and the end-result will be exactly to the client’s brief. Pantone specs also let you know what the closest equivalent will be in the Web’s limited colour palette. Pantone’s Color Cue is a simple-to-use cordless handheld device that tells you the exact Pantone designation of any colour you point it at. Powered by a 9-volt battery, it’s a spectro-colorimeter pre-programmed with Pantone Matching System colour data. Color Cue is both portable and easy to use. Want to use the exact same colour from the top-right corner of a packet of crisps, the faded denim on the seat of your jeans, or mimic another company’s corporate colour? Simply aim the sensor at the colour in question, click a button, and Color Cue tells you the Pantone colour ink formulas, CMYK, RGB, sRGB, HTML, Lab and Hexachrome values on its LCD. Aside from the button that you click and hold over the colour, another cycles through additional information about the identified colour, and a light switch illuminates the sample for alignment.


Color Cue was spot on in nearly all of our tests, and the mis-identifications may have been down to colour changes in the printed swatches due to pigment fading and paper ageing. Color Cue should always identify the true Pantone name – or certainly get you to the correct swatch page quicker – and other colour specifications, and is invaluable when a client wants you to match a colour sample for a logo or any piece of artwork.

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