It’s likely that you don’t give much thought to where the digital colors you use originally came from. You also probably didn’t wonder who might own a certain color when you chose it when creating something in Photoshop. But a lot of people are going to pay a lot of attention to this as their PSD collection gets filled with unwanted black due to a license change between Adobe and Pantone.
As of now, widely used Adobe applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign will no longer support colors owned by Pantone for free, and those who want these colors to appear in their saved files will need to pay for a separate license. And this is real life.
Pantone has been around since the 1950s, the New Jersey company first cleaned up printing inks and then invented the Pantone Color Matching System, used by designers around the world to ensure that the color of a creation is exactly what you want, no matter what. where and how it was produced. So, of course, by becoming the industry standard for color matching, the company naturally claims ownership of all of its 2161 shades, protecting its intellectual property and preventing unlicensed use. This extends so far that it does not allow others to create “Pantone-compatible” color systems. Or, to put it another way, they claim their own colors.
Announcement of last year that Adobe will remove Pantone “color books” from its software caused consternation in the design world. Removing one industry standard from another would obviously create problems, but at the time Adobe said it would be “working on an alternative solution” while rumors circulated that the companies had fallen out.
Since then, official reasons have not made much sense. According to PantoneThe two companies began collaborating in the 1990s, but “since 2010, the Pantone color libraries in Adobe applications have not been updated.” This presumably means they are “significantly outdated and missing hundreds of new Pantone colors”. (Yes, the company is serious about capitalizing Color.) This means that “Pantone and Adobe have decided together to remove deprecated libraries and jointly focus on improving the experience of an application that better suits our users.”
The removal of Pantone colors from Adobe software was supposed to happen on March 31 this year, but that date has passed. Then it was to take place on August 16, then on August 31. However, this month people are noticing the effects, reporting issues with creations using Pantone spot colors. What about the solution? It is an Adobe plug-in that “minimizes workflow disruption and provides updated libraries to Adobe Creative Cloud users.” Which of course costs $15 a month. It’s Netflix, but for coloring!
However, Pantone still states in its outdated FAQ that “this update will have minimal impact on the designer’s workflow. Existing Creative Cloud files and documents containing references to Pantone colors will retain these color identifiers and information.” And yet today people report that their Photoshop informs them“This file contains Pantone colors that have been removed and replaced with black due to changes in Pantone licensing with Adobe.”
Others reported that even adding a Pantone license to Photoshop doesn’t solve the problem, the colors are still replaced with black and the workarounds sound like a pain.
We’ve contacted both Pantone and Adobe and we’ll let you know about the update if they get back to us.
We as a species are going through a very interesting time when it comes to so-called “intellectual property”. Because the rules that applied to physical objects were poorly applied to digital objects, usually controlled by those with the most money to spend and lose, we’ve seen this kind of nonsense spread from music to movies to digital art, and now colors themselves. which they are re-made of themselves. And it always ends up with us having to pay even more money.
It is also becoming more and more common to have to pay for services that used to be free. bmw charges some people for heated seats.
However, there are workarounds for this particular issue. Last but not least, spare yourself the pain of such proprietary software, where ridiculous situations can breed like rabbits. There is free software like gimpas well as free open color schemes such as open color. Of course, there are always challenges to deviate from industry standards, but if we all did that, those issues would disappear fairly quickly.
If you need or want to stick with Adobe designs, then there are solutions out there too. Free. Watch the video below for one of them.
Another tip suggested Print Week is to back up your Pantone libraries and then re-import them when your Adobe software is updated to remove them, or if it’s too late, find a friend who has already done so. There’s a good chance this will work given that Pantone colors are stored as .ACB files just like the rest of Photoshop’s colors.
Or, you know you can just copy the pantone range metadata values.