If you work with color in the publishing world, you may have heard about how a licensing dispute between Adobe and Pantone has resulted in Pantone Color Books being phased out of Adobe Creative Cloud apps, starting with updates to Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop released after 16 August 2022. After November 2022, only three Pantone Color Books will remain: Pantone + CMYK Coated, Pantone + CMYK Uncoated, and Pantone + Metallics Coated.
To access all other Pantone Color Libraries, Creative Cloud users must purchase a $59.99 per year ($7.99 per month) Pantone Connect license and access the libraries through the generally unpopular Pantone Connect plug-in. For the most part, existing files should continue to work as before, although Adobe offers details of how files in Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop may be affected.
A possible workaround may come from the FREETONE color palette plug-in from Stuart Semple of Culture Hustle. The plug-in provides 1280 “Pantone-ish” colors that Semple says are nearly indistinguishable from Pantone colors. It’s available for free to anyone who doesn’t work for or with Adobe or Pantone.
If you find all this as confusing as we do, turn to Dan Vincent’s The Adobe and Pantone Color Apocalypse: Frequently Asked Questions post on his Userlandia blog and podcast.