10 things you need to know about the Pantone Studio app | Pitter Pattern

You might already know that I’m absolutely crazy about colour, and in my endless search for the perfect colour palette, I come across a multitude of resources, offline and online, good, not so good and plain bad…

One of my all time favourites is Pantone Studio, an iOS app for colour inspiration and management, created by Pantone, a provider of professional colour standards and digital solutions under a universal language.

Pantone LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Incorporated, is the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries. The PANTONE® name is known worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer. – pantone.com

In all design practices, colour is an essential part of the workflow and the more seamless that workflow is, the more pleasurable and productive it will be. That’s where Pantone Studio comes flying in like a rocket, making capturing, testing and sharing colour palettes a complete delight.

The use of Pantone products (particularly its Fan Decks) amongst visual creatives is very prevalent if not absolutely necessary, at least when the final designs are meant for commercial production. It’s the language we all must speak so colour reproduction is consistent, from the beginning of that production line right to the end. We need those final products/prints to look exactly as we meant them!

So what better way to create your colour palettes than with Pantone colours right from the beginning, and save some time and sorrow… Pantone Studio helps you do exactly that, and on top of all this, it helps you manage all those lovely colour palettes you’ll be putting together.

PANTONE Studio provides greater convenience in capturing Pantone color from the world around you, building and testing that color in palettes, and sharing work directly into design software, on social media, or with friends, clients, and collaborators.

So here are the 10 things you need to know about Pantone Studio…

1. Building colour palettes

You can build colour palettes of up to 5-colours by:

  • Selecting colours directly from the colour guides included: Color of the Year, Formula Guide Solid Coated, Formula Guide Solid Uncoated, Color Bridge Coated, Color Bridge Uncoated, Extended Gamut Coated, FHI Cotton TCX, FHI Paper TPG, FHI Nylon Brights TN, Metallics Coated, Premium Metallics Coated, Pastels & Neons Coated,Pastels & Neons Uncoated, CMYK Coated, CMYK Uncoated, Skintone Guide. They’re all found in the Color area of the app and you can search the guides by colour numbers if you need to.
  • Take a photo using the camera icon and use the colour picker to choose the colours you want from the image.
  • Or use a photo already on your phone by going to the top menu in the Images area of the app.
  • Connect the app to your Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr accounts and extract images from those accounts to sample colours from them. You find these options by selecting the top menu in the Images area.
  • Or from the app’s own Inspiration feed, also in the Images top menu.

Pantone Studio app - Building colour palettes | Pitter Pattern

2. Visualising your colour palettes

You can mix and test colour palettes in the Studio area. Visualise your colours on graphics, interiors, and 3D materials before you start designing. Drag colours into different positions on the palette to change the order of the colours on the graphics.

Pantone Studio app - Visualising your colour palettes | Pitter Pattern

3. Sharing your colour palettes

You can share your colour palettes to many places and in several ways/formats by clicking the usual Share icon.

You can select the kind of image you want to share your palette as. For a 5-colour palette, there are 11 image options. You can then send that image as a text message, email or share it on your social media accounts, or just save it to your Camera Roll. Each shared colour in the palette has its Pantone name and number, making it great when collaborating with other people.

You can also send them to your Creative Cloud libraries, Photoshop or as an ASE file (see number 7 below).

Pantone Studio app - Sharing your colour palettes | Pitter Pattern

4. Finding colour values

All colours are shown on several values, making it a breeze to work across different mediums or for different purposes. The values for each Pantone colour are also shown as sRGB, HEX and CMYK. Just tap on the colour you want to see the values for and they’ll be there.

Pantone Studio app - Finding colour values | Pitter Pattern

5. Help with harmonies

When creating colour palettes a helping hand is always welcome. The app shows you Monochromatic, Analogous, Split Complement, Triadic and Complement harmonies for each colour you select. Find them by tapping on a colour and then swiping up. You can then add colours from the harmonies to your palette if you want to.

Pantone Studio app - Help with harmonies | Pitter Pattern

6. Cross referencing

You can visually cross reference any colour across all Pantone colour guides. So let’s say you have a hue from the Color Bridge guide selected but want to know what the equivalent of that colour is for the CMYK guide. You do this by tapping on a colour, swiping up and then swiping left on the top menu. You’ll find them under Cross References.

Pantone Studio app - Cross referencing | Pitter Pattern

7. Integrating with Adobe Software

If you work with Adobe Software, you’ll be pleased to know that the app integrates very well with it, and will make your workflow much smoother. You can:

  • Send your colour palettes to your Creative Cloud libraries. This will send each colour separately and the image where you sampled them from (if any). You can then open these in Illustrator, Photoshop, etc…
  • Send them to Photoshop’s Swatches library directly.
  • Or share them as ASE (Adobe Swatch Exchange) files. They are used for saving a collection of colours and are accessed through the Swatches palette of some Adobe products like Photoshop and Illustrator.

You do all these by going to your Palettes area in the app and tapping the sharing icon above the colour palette you want to share.

Pantone Studio app - Integrating with Adobe Software | Pitter Pattern

8. Crowdsourcing colour palettes

The app is linked with the ColourLovers community to pull in palettes from other artists. which you can save on your app for later use. You do this by tapping on a colour, swiping up and then swiping left on the top menu. You’ll find them under Inspiration.

Pantone Studio app - Crowdsourcing colour palettes | Pitter Pattern

9.Trend research

In the Articles area, you’ll get insights from the Pantone Color Institute™ (PCI) through a convenient feed of content rich in colour insight and imagery. Content includes articles focused on the emotions, meanings, psychology and context behind particular colours. This also includes curated trend palettes to use in your next design project.

Pantone Studio app - Trend research | Pitter Pattern

10. To subscribe or not to subscribe, that is the question

The app is a subscription service but all tools, features, and content are free with a selection of available Pantone colours. By subscribing you get access to all Pantone colours across 15 guides (more than 10,000 standardized hues across all libraries and disciplines, from fashion to graphic colours).

There are 2 subscription options:

  • Monthly – £4.49 – $4.99/month with a 1-week free trial
  • Annual – £27.99 – $29.99/year with a 1-month free trial

If you’re subscribed, all new colours released by Pantone will be automatically updated in the digital studio.

You can download Pantone Studio from the App Store or visit their website at pantone.com/studio to find out more.

And that’s all folks… I hope you have now a better understanding of how this app might be able to change your design workflow forever. I know it did for me.

Let me know what you think in the comments below or if you have any questions send them over and I’ll try to answer them… (I love a challenge!)

PS: If you’re into bright and bold colours, check this post to get 24 free colour palettes, I think you’ll love them :-)

I am a designer, originally from Colombia and now living permanently in Cornwall, UK. I graduated in Product Design but since then have mostly worked in graphics for print and web. A few years ago I decided to specialise in Surface Pattern Design and I'm loving it!


  1. crackvst

    Very thorough! Im heading over to download it right now. Thanks for all the info

  2. Mary MirabalM

    Cannot save to images on your phone. Not sure it’s worth it if you can’t save images.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that Mary. I wrote this post a while back when the app used to be super awesome. The reviews on the Apple store are now mostly bad. It doesn’t even load on my phone anymore… :-(

  3. Hi Veronica, My experience thus far with this app and Pantone’s support has been terrible. They have given me incorrect information and also none of the functionality works very well. The app no longer works with adobe photoshop or creative cloud, which Pantone says is due to an apple issue. I am so disappointed in most everything about it.

    • Oh no Patricia, so sorry to hear that :-( I wrote this post a while back when it used to be awesome. What a shame that they have stopped supporting it fully. Shame on them! I just read the reviews on the Apple store and they’re mostly bad. It doesn’t even load on my phone anymore… Oh well :-/ Thanks for letting us know anyway!

  4. Bren Michelle Sutton

    Very thorough! Im heading over to download it right now. Thanks for all the info :)

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