Adobe and Pantone have reached a new licensing agreement so you can reuse those old PSD files (with Pantone) you have hoarded away. And while they claim it is to provide the best customer experience… it looks more like it provides a better experience to their bottom line in a cash grab from users with little choice.
It can all be fixed… for $15 per month as of this writing.
You won’t get any movies to watch. No free shipping. No ticket services and, it appears, not even a new software app to use. You just pay the money to keep using what you have created in the past.
This defines customer service in the 21st century for a lot of companies.
Pantone's Director of Brand Management and Marketing Communication stated:
“Unfortunately, the current implementation of the Pantone library within Adobe’s Creative Cloud apps are outdated with many missing colors as well as inaccurate information. In order to provide the best user experience for our users, the companies together have decided to remove the outdated libraries and continue to collaborate on a better in-app experience.”
While some of this is old news from the end of 2021 it seems the only solution these two brain trusts could muster after that was to charge users the additional monthly fee to keep using what they have already created. Yes… you have been reading this right. What you have already created.
In a nutshell, and somewhat simplified explanation this only involves those that use Pantone colors for color matching to keep clients happy. If you don’t use Pantone, then this means little to you. Or you may find you did use Pantone after you open some of your older PSD files to find some colors replaced with black.
While the hassle of all this on users generates enough internal combustion to power a small nova that is not the only bad thing here. I’m sure you didn’t miss the absolute disingenuous PR line of “In order to provide the best user experience for our users…” is just insulting to the basic intelligence of those affected. I realize she didn’t say “improve” instead using “provide” because it’s hard to put lipstick on a pig and make it stick.
Why not just tell the truth… we screwed up… we want more money or whatever the real truth is. We all know that won’t happen, but it further erodes the trust some users have in Adobe to not run into fiascos like this. I mean, isn’t losing all that customer data in a breach years ago enough punishment for users?
Now some will have to pay a fee to use what they have already created. That part is just how convoluted things have become in modern times. To pass it off as anything other than a miscalculation by one party or a cash grab by one or both parties demonstrates how little respect they have for those old-fashioned notions of truth and fairness.
I bet some of us are more than comfortable with an outdated Pantone library that didn’t cost $15 per month.
Just think of what you could get for that $15 every month. Amazon Prime is $14.99 per month in comparison, and it has, well, more than a few perks like the aforementioned movies and free shipping.
All you get from Pantone/Adobe is the “best customer experience” the combined companies could muster.
UPDATE 11-11-2022: The magazine was contacted after the publication of this article asking that I include the following statement from spokesperson Ashley Still, senior vice president, digital media marketing, strategy & global partnerships at Adobe:
As we had shared in June, Pantone decided to change its business model. Some of the Pantone Color Books that are pre-loaded in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign were phased-out from future software updates in August 2022. To access the complete set of Pantone Color Books, Pantone now requires customers to purchase a premium license through Pantone Connect and install a plug-in using Adobe Exchange.
We are currently looking at ways to lessen the impact on our customers. In the meantime, customers also have access to up to 14 extensive color books through Creative Cloud subscriptions.
Adobe Creative Cloud empowers creators with flagship apps like Photoshop, Illustrator etc. to create wherever inspiration strikes and now offers innovations like Share for Review for collaboration, new AI tools to simplify complex tasks, and powerful image editing within the browser.
PetaPixel , You Have to Pay a Subscription to Use Pantone Colors in Photoshop Now
Kokatu , You’re Going To Have To Pay To Use Some Fancy Colors In Photoshop Now
Printweek , Adobe to drop Pantone colour System (December 10, 2021)
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.