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What Is Pantone — And Why Should Photoshop Users Pay For It Now?

What Is Pantone — And Why Should Photoshop Users Pay For It Now?

Today is Friday, which is good! But also today, we found out that Pantone colors will stop being free for Photoshop users. Sound ghastly, but… what is Pantine exactly? And why should you care?

Read also: Adobe Is Acquiring Figma. Why Is Everyone Unhappy?

Why should Photoshop users pay for it?


It might sound weird, but in our wonderful world, some people own colors. Sounds funny, and yet it’s totally accurate. It all began in 1963 when Pantone company presented the world with a color-matching system. It was a game changer for designers and publishers, who could see exactly how a color would look on print. Before that, it was chaos. What is yellow? Nobody knew EXACTLY before Pantone made it a definite thing.

If you’re a web designer, you might not know about Pantone since web design is all about RGB. But ask anyone who worked with printing, and they’ll tell you that Pantone is a big deal. And before, it was totally free for everyone to use whatever color they wanted. But this idyll is all but over. It seems like Pantone and Adobe are no longer pals because Photoshop’s library of colors hasn’t been updated in years. And now there’s no built-in support at all!

The solution: you can either enjoy black-and-white images or pay 15 USD a month for a dedicated plug-in. Talk about capitalism! 

You can, of course, convert Pantone colors to RGB or CMYK, but it will never be 100% accurate. But you, as a web developer, mostly shouldn’t be bothered about it. But still, the news is concerning. 

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