Colors Fonts and Change

1984 was a great year. I graduated from high school and entered UNC Chapel Hill. The summer Olympic games were held in Los Angeles. “We Are the World” ruled the radio to help ease hunger in Ethiopia. Apple released the first MacIntosh personal computer with a legendary Super Bowl commercial. And with far less fanfare, Adobe Creative introduced its PostScript Type 1 fonts to support the brand-new professions of digital design and desktop publishing.

Nearly 40 years later, Adobe is still going strong. So is the Pantone color system developed long before that in 1962. Virtually every creative agency and corporation depends on Adobe fonts and Pantone colors through every stage of the creative workflow. That is why I took the news very seriously when changes were announced by both services in 2023.

Let’s start with Adobe fonts used in graphic design, video editing, web development and photography. When Adobe makes any sort of change to its suite of applications, it affects not only future work but the ability to edit past files. The original Type 1 fonts introduced in 1984 were supplanted by OpenType fonts at the turn of the 21st century. For 20 years, Abode has encouraged developers to convert Type 1 fonts to OpenType. Now they are pulling the plug and ending support for these legacy fonts across all platforms and apps in 2023.

That means the thousands of PDF or EPS files in your system with Type 1 fonts can still be displayed digitally and printed but can no longer be edited. It also means that your company, or your creative agency partner, needs to purchase an OpenType format to create new materials.

Pantone Color Systems will also make changes in 2023, including charging a subscription fee for the use of Pantone colors in Adobe Creative Cloud applications. In the past, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign came pre-loaded with Pantone Color Books; this will be phased out in all future software updates. Creative professionals, agencies and companies will now need to pay for a premium license or subscription to access the complete set of Pantone Color Books.

The trend toward subscription services for software is not a new development, but few tools or applications have the pervasive reach of Adobe or Pantone. RLF has already moved forward with purchasing the subscriptions we need to ensure the creative process is not interrupted for any clients. We’re also prepared to support clients who need materials updated or revised.

If it would be helpful to talk with RLF Creative Director Greg Monroy to understand what implications might arise with these and other changes, please let me know. Our mission is to support clients with ideas, strategy and service that advance their business objectives, and we don’t want a straight-forward software policy change to create chaos down the road.