As a 53-year-old company, Pantone might be forgiven for its analog roots. But as creatives move away from print, chip books and swatches, the color authority is modernizing along with them.
Today, Pantone launches a new app called Studio, which is the company's most ambitious foray into digital design.
The app boasts Pantone's library of more than 10,000 colors, and lets designers use uploaded photos to create and customize palettes and mood boards. It lets users see how colors would look in a variety of scenarios and textures, by letting them apply palettes to graphics, interiors and typography in addition to digitally "pliable" textures such as 3D papers and fabrics. Designers can send content to the Adobe Creative Cloud from within the app.
The app provides color data in addition to harmonies and a visual cross-reference of that color across Pantone libraries. It will include content such as color trend forecasting from the Pantone Color Institute, and it will be the first time the company's color trend forecasting services will be offered digitally.
"It's all about making it easy and accessible for designers to learn," said Pantone Studio product manager Nicholas Bazarian.
To create the app, Pantone recruited 2,000 designers from various industries to ask what was important to them. Many of them were from the Millennial age group, especially those in the 18- to 24- year-old range, in an effort to attract those designers who might be aware of the brand but might not fully use its offerings.
"Designers are still starting the creative process with the physical, but they are no longer just sketching but deriving inspiration from Instagram and what they see from the world and then filtering that through tech," said Kathryn Shah, who is vice president of Global Marketing at Pantone. "At Pantone, analog has prevailed, but this is the first time we are connecting the digital and physical."
The app is free for basic exploration and sharing, while users can subscribe to all of the tools and colors through a monthly $7.99 subscription, or $59.99 annually.
It's available today as an iPhone app, with plans for an iPad, Android, Windows and MAC OS versions to follow.