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How to indicate colors in InDesign and Illustrator now that Adobe no longer supports Pantone

New Here ,
Jan 08, 2024 Jan 08, 2024

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I read that the Adobe programs will no longer support PANTONE color guides.

 

How then are we supposed to label colors in Illustrator and have them import accurately and (eventually) print accurately into InDesign?

 

Do we save colors in Illustrator in their 3- (RGB) or 4-color (CMYK) formats, and give them a generic name? Do we just name them by their color breakdown (e.g., C=50 M=0 Y=50 K=15 or R=255 G=255 B=255)?

 

And if there's a web page that explains this in greater detail, I'd appreciate someone posting the link. Thanks in advance. 

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correct answers 3 Correct answers

Community Expert , Jan 08, 2024 Jan 08, 2024

I read that the Adobe programs will no longer support PANTONE color guides.

 


Hi @jeffl12164448 , Nothing has changed in the way the Adobe print apps handle color book files (the .acb files installed in the application folders). You can still use Pantone .acb files, the change is Adobe no longer installs them for you -- you have to install the .acb files manually. See this thread:

 

https://community.adobe.com/t5/indesign-discussions/pantone-alert-in-indesign/td-p/13565184

 

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Community Expert , Jan 08, 2024 Jan 08, 2024

You need to define the color as Spot to be treated as an additional plate.

 

Otherwise it will be separated on the RIP. 

 

https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/design/discover/spot-vs-process-color.html

 

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Community Expert , Jan 08, 2024 Jan 08, 2024

Remember that spot colors for printing are more or less irrelevant to the actual color used within the app and the ink color eventually used. They simply define a print plate that will be used with the designated color ink on the press. You could call a color Ugly Betty, use a lime green fill color in InDesign, and still get a perfect pale orange print color as long as you designate the ink correctly. You don't have to have any precisedly defined color swatch or mix for it within the app.

 

Real

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Community Expert ,
Jan 08, 2024 Jan 08, 2024

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I read that the Adobe programs will no longer support PANTONE color guides.

 


Hi @jeffl12164448 , Nothing has changed in the way the Adobe print apps handle color book files (the .acb files installed in the application folders). You can still use Pantone .acb files, the change is Adobe no longer installs them for you -- you have to install the .acb files manually. See this thread:

 

https://community.adobe.com/t5/indesign-discussions/pantone-alert-in-indesign/td-p/13565184

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 08, 2024 Jan 08, 2024

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You need to define the color as Spot to be treated as an additional plate.

 

Otherwise it will be separated on the RIP. 

 

https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/design/discover/spot-vs-process-color.html

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 08, 2024 Jan 08, 2024

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Remember that spot colors for printing are more or less irrelevant to the actual color used within the app and the ink color eventually used. They simply define a print plate that will be used with the designated color ink on the press. You could call a color Ugly Betty, use a lime green fill color in InDesign, and still get a perfect pale orange print color as long as you designate the ink correctly. You don't have to have any precisedly defined color swatch or mix for it within the app.

 

Realistically/professionally, you should name the spot color rationally (PANTONE 324, etc.), use a color mix that is a close representation of it for the layout (156, 219, 217), and make sure the plate export carries a meaningful name for the printer — a PANTONE 324 slug will mean more and lead to far fewer errors than JOE'S PALE GREEN.

 

But Pantone swatches are entirely for designer convenience and, as long as the right spot color gets separated to the right plate and the printer knows what color ink to associate with that plate, are just a convenience, not a technical necessity.


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