Rokkan Helped Pantone Create a New App With Young, Digitally Savvy Designers in Mind

Inspiring a new generation

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Pantone created its first app over seven years ago, and as technology has evolved, the brand hasn't made many changes to its original product, myPANTONE. But today, the brand is debuting a new app called Pantone Studio, which keeps young, tech-savvy designers in mind by focusing on inspiration and workflow.

"People are designing much more in a digital space. People are capturing their inspiration, whether it's design inspiration or color inspiration, on their phones and on social media, everywhere they go. It was time for us to rethink the way we were reaching designers and bringing color into their world," said Kathryn Shah, vp of global marketing at Pantone. 

Created by agency Rokkan Los Angeles, the Pantone Studio app is designed to help the brand reach 3.7 million designers and 1.2 million product designers who use Pantone products "across both the digital design world and the product design world," Shah added.

What Pantone realized was that many young designers couldn't afford to go out and buy a Pantone Color Guide, which can cost between $200 and $800. The new app is free to download and costs $7.99 for a one-month subscription or $59.99 for an annual subscription, making it much more accessible for those just starting out in their careers. The subscription includes access to all Pantone colors and a number of new features designed for creators in all fields, from fashion designers to digital designers to photographers.

"A lot of it began with thinking about how younger generations of designers and creators are finding and using color in different ways," said Brian Carley, chief creative officer at Rokkan. The app includes new features that allow designers to capture colors and images they find out in the world and easily translate them into Pantone colors and create a color palette. "Designers don't just sit at their desks; they don't really find inspiration there. It's in the world around them. The challenge is to help them use color on a daily basis and capture it in their daily lives and bring it into their workflow," said Mark Freeman, associate creative director at Rokkan.

Another feature in the app allows users to take their custom-made color palettes and easily upload them into the Adobe Creative Cloud and Photoshop, something that both Rokkan and Pantone said designers had been asking about for quite some time. Plus, new Pantone colors will automatically be added into the app.

"We know a lot of people are working on computers to do their design, but we also know that graphic designers work differently than fashion designers than physical installation designers, and we have to take all of that into consideration," Carley added. 

For now, Pantone Studio is only available in the iOS App Store with more iterations of the app slated for the future. The long-term plan, according to Rokkan, is to help position Pantone as more than just an iPhone app and as more of a software company.

@ktjrichards Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.