Connect has become a potentially important tool for graphic arts professionals because Adobe has phased out Pantone Color Libraries from its Creative Cloud products, although the basic colour books remain available.
When Printweek wrote about the situation over the summer, a premium annual subscription to Pantone Connect cost £42.99 per user, with volume discounts available for business and enterprise users.
The price has now jumped to £89.99 for a single seat premium annual sub – a huge hike of 109%.
In August a monthly subscription cost £5.99, the equivalent of nearly £72 per year.
That option is now £14.99 – a 150% increase – which would work out at nearly £180 a year.
A business subscription featuring ‘single sign-on’ and other tools for managing large teams of 100 or more is £149.99 per year, per user.
A Pantone spokesperson told Printweek the firm had increased its pricing “due to added features to our application”.
Pantone's website highlights “explore trends and palettes” as a new Connect feature.
Industry experts reacted with shock to the new prices.
Paul Sherfield, owner and founder of The Missing Horse consultancy, said: “What? I’m almost speechless. And what are the extra features?”
On the Adobe Exchange app marketplace Pantone Connect has received a slew of negative reviews, with the vast majority of reviewers giving it just one star.
User comments included: “bad in every aspect”, “horrible usability” and “a complete rip-off”.
Pantone said that all of the existing Pantone Libraries with the exception of CMYK Coated/Uncoated and Metallics will be completely removed from the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of products by December 2022.
The situation seems to be the result of a fall-out between Adobe and Pantone over licensing fees. Adobe previously said the change had come about because “Pantone’s licensing with Adobe was adjusted”.
Alternatives and workarounds are detailed in this Printweek feature published in our August-September issue.
Pantone’s system encompasses more than 10,000 colour standards across multiple materials including printing, coating, textiles, pigments and plastics.
Pantone’s parent company is X-Rite, which is part of the Danaher group of companies, which also includes Esko, Videojet and Linx Printing Solutions.