Photoshop is the standard application used in the creative area on the photography and design side throughout the industry, and Pantone is considered the world’s authority on color. So the fact that Photoshop users could use Pantone’s standard colours directly in their creations made everything much easier. However, Pantone seems to have found this functionality to be a new source of revenue and has introduced the need for a separate subscription to Photoshop for access to its virtual colour palette.
Photoshop users will have to pay 15 euros for access to Pantone colours
Adobe and Pantone had announced that this time would come sometime in 2022, but the time has kept getting pushed back. But it seems that from now on, those who want to use Pantone colours in Photoshop will have to pay a separate subscription fee from the one Adobe already charges for access to the creative application. Pantone believes that access to its colours requires a monthly subscription of €15 (or €90 per year), which must be purchased directly from the company. The colours are then accessed via a plugin that installs and works through Adobe Exchange.
Normally, the lack of compatibility with the original Pantone app would not be a problem, as the color database is just a collection of numbers and digits that point to a unique hue. These values can be found online and can still be used without that plugin. Of course, the pace of work would be affected. The real problem is that everyone who used Pantone colours for free until now via the plugin and who does not now have an active colour subscription, has found themselves with old corrupted files. Virtually all Pantone colours in Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator files have been replaced with black.
Apparently there are some complicated ways you can recover those projects even without paying for the new subscription, but they’re not available to everyone. Some files seem to be corrupted without the possibility of recovery though. Pantone says that installing the Pantone Connect extension solves this problem, but some users say it doesn’t work.