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Adobe and PANTONE Parting Ways

PANTONE swatch book of spot colours

In November 2021, Adobe announced that PANTONE Colour Libraries would be removed from several Creative Suite programs. This began on all software updates starting in March 2022.

For those who still need to access PANTONE Colour Libraries while working in Adobe programs, you will need to download PANTONE Connect. PANTONE Connect is a new program which includes a host of essential tools for isolating and matching colours. It’s free to install, but will need a subscription to search for and add PANTONE colours to your Swatches panel.

For some, subscribing to PANTONE Connect makes sense, depending on the number of projects and nature of the work being done. For others, the added subscription costs, on top of the Adobe annual subscription costs, are a luxury that cannot be justified.

Bernie Chiu, Prepress Supervisor at Hemlock Printers, explains how clients who choose not to subscribe to the new program can still specify PANTONE colours when sending their files to Hemlock.

“When adding a colour to the Swatches panel, ensure you are creating it as a spot colour. Without this designation, we will be unable to determine which colours should be CMYK and which should be spot. If you supply us with files containing spot colours that will actually be printing CMYK, we will use the CMYK breakdown that is specified in the document. Before, if we were converting spot colours to CMYK builds, it was easy to convert with PANTONE Colour Libraries, as the conversion from spot to CMYK was consistent. Without it, designers will need to input the CMYK values, ensuring they are consistent. This is essential if you ever switch between CMYK and spot colours.”


Bernie’s Tip

“One of the best tools for any designer is the PANTONE Colour Bridge set for both coated and uncoated stocks. It contains the PANTONE spot colours and the official PANTONE CMYK breakdown for the same corresponding colour. You can reference the recipes so that the CMYK builds will always be consistent.”

For more information about creating print-ready files and spot colours, be sure to check out our File Preparation Guide. Alternatively, reach out to us and we will connect you with our prepress team.