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Add Pantone colors in Affinity Designer

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For those of you who needs Pantone colors support in Affinity Designer before the Serif team release an official support in it, here is a trick you can do.

 

Firstly, you need an Adobe Illustrator licence to be able to do this, or install a demo version of Illustrator.

 

Then you need to install SwatchBooker.

http://www.selapa.net/swatchbooker/

Or you compile it yourself to get a Mac version, or you use it under Linux, or use it with Windows.

Personally, I installed the Windows version into a CrossOver bottle and it works out of the box.

 

Launch SwatchBooker Editor, in the File menu, select Open and choose one of your Pantone library in Illustrator.

Then in the File menu, select Save as and select *.ase for the file format.

 

Launch Affinity Designer and go to the swatches panel, click on the menu and choose import palette, as system or software, as you want. Select your exported *.ase color library.

 

And that's it, you have loaded in Affiinty Designer your Pantone colors library.

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I have my Pantone swatches loaded in Apple Color Picker. They are available in Affinity Designer when you click the Color's Dropdown bar. Have to remember how to do this because it has been ages since since I did it orginally for the programme IDraw.

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2009: 27 inch iMac / Intel Core i5 / 2.66 GHz / 16 GB Memory / System: Yosemite 10.10.3 – PRINCIPAL DESIGN SOFTWARE: QuarkXpress 9.5.1, 10.5 and 2015 / Pinegrow Web Designer / Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo / Acorn

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Go to Applications > Adobe Photoshop CS'X' > Presets > Colorbooks and copy the books you want to desktop (so you don't spanner up the originals).

 

Go here.

 

http://www.dctsystems.co.uk/Software/ACB.html

 

Download the app.

 

Go to File > Open and select the files. Apple Colour picker will pop up and show Pantone colours are now in Apple Colour picker. Restart Affinity Apps if they are running then the Pantone swatches (or whatever you chose) will appear in Affinity Apps. Not sure what will happen once Serif guys actually include Pantone files but I can't see it being too much of an issue.

 

You can now trash the .acb files on the desktop.

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@Nazario

 

Thank you so much for the instructions and the link.  That was quick and easy and now I have all my Pantones available in Affinity.

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Hi All,

 

I'm happy I stumbled onto this thread, but here's my dilemma.  The Adobe Color Converter that you link to won't run on my Mac.  (Using 10.11, which is probably why.  D'oh!)  Also, that Windows app won't run on my PC.  So, I searched to no avail for some sort of Color Book Converter, but I can't find any options.  Suggestions?  Thanks!

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Try ColorSchemer Studio from www.colorschemer.com. It's what I use and imports and exports ASE files, as well as CLR which you can then import into Apple Colour Picker.

 

 

 

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2009: 27 inch iMac / Intel Core i5 / 2.66 GHz / 16 GB Memory / System: Yosemite 10.10.3 – PRINCIPAL DESIGN SOFTWARE: QuarkXpress 9.5.1, 10.5 and 2015 / Pinegrow Web Designer / Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo / Acorn

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Replying to my own thread.  You can export color books as ASE through Photoshop.  Simple!

 

Indeed you can :)

 

Open Photoshop. Select the 'swatches' panel then choose the Pantone book you want. Then in the little drop down choose 'Save Swatches for Exchange'. This creates an ASE file which you can import directly to Affinity. No need for an app to convert the book.

 

Thanks JF

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Hi Guys

 

Sorry to bring this up but I think I have found a couple of issues with the solution. When either an EPS or PDF is exported the colours are converted to CMYK and the split does not match the values that Illustrator gives (only by a couple of percent).

 

I thought it was worth pointing out as if you were doing a branding job it may not be a happy ending.

 

I am new to Affinity software so if I am missing something please feel free to point it out.

 

Cheers

 

Gary

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Hi Guys

 

Sorry to bring this up but I think I have found a couple of issues with the solution. When either an EPS or PDF is exported the colours are converted to CMYK and the split does not match the values that Illustrator gives (only by a couple of percent).

 

I thought it was worth pointing out as if you were doing a branding job it may not be a happy ending.

 

I am new to Affinity software so if I am missing something please feel free to point it out.

 

Cheers

 

Gary

 

With my method it does work anyway.

 

I'm getting the same values between Illustrator and Designer in CMYK.

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Thanks to all for these hints, but tinpeas is right. It’s no problem to import a Pantone library in Affinity Designer, but if you export an eps file containing Pantone colors, this file has only cmyk values, no Pantone colors/names (you can check this also with any text editor as eps are text files).

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Thanks to all for these hints, but tinpeas is right. It’s no problem to import a Pantone library in Affinity Designer, but if you export an eps file containing Pantone colors, this file has only cmyk values, no Pantone colors/names (you can check this also with any text editor as eps are text files).

I found this. Was excited for a moment when I saw how easy it was to bring in a pantone library. That was quickly dashed when it would not keep the pantone colours in any files saved. I tried with both EPS and PDF files. You also cannot tint a pantone colour, you can make it opaque, but no tinting. Bringing in pantone libraries works as people have pointed out, but it is useless without files holding onto that info when being saved. If it is just going to convert to CMYK, why bother using pantone to begin with? Hopefully they come out with a proper update soon to add pantones and spot colours.

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I needed the Pantone Fashion and Interiors colour book available in Affinity Designer for designing tech packs for the clothing industry.

I started out by selecting from the whole spectrum of colours (colour wheel) and then had to go through the document at various stages, copying hex codes and using the Pantone Colour Finder to provide me with the closest Pantone colour, copying the hex code and pasting it back in to the hex field in AD.

So...a bit tedious, not to mention a little unreliable because when converting any old hex colours to Pantones the results aren't as close as I'd like.

However, I did find a list of Fashion and Interior Pantones hex codes online here and reformatted the pantone-numbers.json to csv. That way I can drop them in to Affinity Designer > Contents > Resources > pantones and they show up as an additional palette in AD.

Much easier. It's attached here if anyone needs it.

Hopefully there isn't a downside to this, other than the colours themselves needing to be manually updated when Pantone update their range.

 

pantone-fashion-interiors.csv

Edited by simonlayfield
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