The end of pantone colors in adobe software?
Adobe announced that from March the preloaded libraries of Pantone colors will be "removed from the future software updates" and that they "seek an alternative solution for the concerned products" still not announced to date. One imagines well the impact this decision could have at the printers. In contrast to the CMYK or RGB which vary from a screen to another, the rendering of the Pantone colors is absolute and identical, and this no matter the country, the place of impression, or the digital support or paper.
Pantone indeed uses a definition of the spectrum of color thanks to the numerical model L*a*b* which measures the ratio between the luminosity (L), the red/green value (a), and the blue/yellow value (b), a little like if one calculated the latitude, longitude and altitude of a color. The proposed colors can also be metallic, pastel or fluorescent, and are strandardized on paper as well as on sewing threads. The Pantone empire has grown over the years to the point where it has become an essential tool for deciding trends and "colors of the year"; we talk about it in more detail in this blog post. However, with the resurgence of digital use, the decline of paper printing, and the advent of digital printers, Pantone must reinvent itself to avoid drowning.
The graphic designers and other members of the image professions have taken for habit, when their work must be printed, to refer either to the Pantone paper color chart, or to find a digital equivalent via the color chart in the Pantone library on Adobe, or to go to the printers and to make color tests manually until finding which corresponds best. One understands that the use of Pantone simplifies these searches and thus costs significantly more at the printer, but we regret this colorimetric standardization and the lack of creativity which it can lead to, and especially the hostage taking which it operates on those which depend on these colors.
Moreover, the pantone references available in the library of Adobe shades date from ten years ago. They have never been updated, are incomplete. It misses hundreds of nuances, and their conversion in quadrichromy are not all right any more. Indeed, Pantone was able to revise its calibrations of colors, with time, according to the technical evolutions and the new colorimetric standards.
To mitigate this future shortage Pantone on Photoshop or Illustrator, probably due to an end of license granted to Adobe, there is an update V3 (dating from 2019) to install manually in your software. It is available here: GitHub - Autocrit/Pantone-color-libraries: Pantone color libraries as .acb files for Photoshop etc
Another solution is to install, as Pantone obviously wishes, the pluggin « Pantone connect » to be found in your software via the menu "Window / Extension / Pantone connect". Note that this new version, which promises regular updates of colors, is paying (30€ approximately the first year and 50€ then, or about 5€ per month). We were talking about being taken hostage...
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