Pantone colors are disappearing from Adobe

Designers who don’t pay for a Pantone plug-in may find they’re missing colors.

Things are about to get less colorful for Adobe software users.

Pantone is paywalling 15k colors in products including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign this month, per Vice.

For designers who don’t pay up, some colors will switch to black.

What’s a Pantone Color?

In 1963, Pantone developed the Pantone Matching System, which standardizes colors across industries and materials.

For example: You want your business logo to be “Very Peri,” Pantone’s 2022 Color of the Year.

By using Peri’s ID (Pantone 17-3938) when you send your logo to the printer, you can guarantee that exact shade always winds up on your ads and T-shirts.

Previously…

… Adobe and Pantone had an agreement in which Adobe paid to license Pantone’s color swatches, or “books,” for use in its software.

But last year, the companies announced that Adobe would remove Pantone’s books, supposedly because they were out of date. (Rumors, however, suggest a disagreement between the companies.)

So now…

… people who want to use affected colors must pay $15/mo. for a plug-in, per designer Iain Anderson.

And most users can’t just run an older version that still has the old books because Adobe has switched its software to a cloud-based model.

For a deeper dive, watch Anderson’s explainer here, or check out Printweek’s in-depth guide, plus workarounds, here.

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