Technology Pantone colors now require a subscription in Adobe Photoshop

Pantone colors now require a subscription in Adobe Photoshop


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Last week, Adobe removed support for free Pantone colors in its Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator Creative Cloud applications. PSD files containing Pantone spot colors now show unwanted black in place, forcing creatives who need access to industry-standard color books to pay for a plug-in subscription (via Kotaku).

“Like we had shared in June, Pantone decided to change its business model. Some of the Pantone color books preloaded in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign were pulled from future software updates in August 2022,” Erin Di Leva, Public Relations Manager for Adobe, said in a statement. The edge. “To access the full set of Pantone Color Books, Pantone now requires customers to purchase a premium license through Pantone Connect and install a plug-in using Adobe Exchange.”

A Pantone license for Adobe costs creatives $15 per month

Before the introduction of the Pantone Color Matching System, companies used individual color guides that produced inconsistent results, as each ink company could interpret “red” as slightly different shades. Even CMYK, another industry standard color matching system used in home printers, is considered inferior because the required combination of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black can lead to slight variations. Pantone does not require a combination of colors, making it more reliable for designers working on large projects.

While the Frequently Asked Questions about Pantone states that “existing Creative Cloud files and documents containing Pantone Color references retain color identities and information,” Photoshop users nevertheless report that their old PSD files that use Pantone colors now show those colors as black. “This file has Pantone colors removed and replaced with black due to changes in Pantone’s licensing with Adobe,” reads a notice of affected projects. Other Photoshop Users have reported that downloading the Pantone Connect extension is not guaranteed to solve the problem. We have reached out to Pantone to clarify its position and will update if we hear anything.

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.


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