Pantone’s Spat with Adobe Leaves Customers Caught in the Middle

This post is by Emma Garofalo from No Film School

Licensing of the Color Matching Scheme is at the heart of the dispute, keeping customers in the middle.

After Nov. 22, 2022, regular users of Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign applications in Adobe Creative Cloud may notice that some of the Pantone color shades come up as black.

Well, turns out this is due to an ongoing conflict that Pantone is having with Adobe over licensing of Pantone’s industry-standard color shades. To make matters worse, if users want to use these shades, they will have to pay a separate monthly fee to access Pantone’s digital color books.

Fun times ahead for designers. Today, if you open a PSD (even one that’s 20 years old) with an obscure PANTONE colour, it will remove the colour and make it black. Pantone want US$21/month for access, and Solid Coated goes behind the paywall in early November.

— Iain Anderson (@funwithstuff) October 28, 2022

The problem stems from a dispute where Pantone claims that Adobe had been using an older version of their color profiles without paying a licensing fee.

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