50 Years of Color

Posted by on Feb 26, 2013 in Color | No Comments
50 Years of Color

“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.” – Oscar Wilde

Look who’s turning 50! Many have tried but no one has done it like Pantone. This year Pantone and all their wonderful color palettes, swatch books and software is turning 50. Half a century of inspiration, design, beautiful color and countless hours of sore fingers from flipping though swatch books.

It’s interesting to think where design & color would be with out the Pantone Matching System (PMS). I like to imagine a Mad Max type world where designers & creatives alike are screaming at their printers because their client was unhappy with their color output. However, that is thankfully not the case thanks to Pantone. They are the color authority and they have continued to be an inspiration for so many creative companies and designers alike for many years.

Color is crucial in design and is a key communication tool. It can literally make or break your design and is a pivotal factor in any designs success and extremely important in how the target audience and public perceive those designs. Texas and Canada have written specific Pantone colors into the legislation of their flags. Tiffany & Co. asked Pantone to help them custom mix that popular shade of blue that we all know now as Tiffany Blue (Pantone 1837).

Colors have feelings just like we do. They project feelings in us as humans and we can even change moods based on the colors we are exposed to.

Word association with color

  • Red – Induce excitement and high energy
  • Blue – Reliable, trustworthy, dependable and inspires confidence
  • Green – Refreshing, healing and fresh
  • Yellow – Warmth, sunny, cheerful and mellow
  • Purple – Sensual, elegant and mysterious
  • Orange – Friendly, glowing, vital, tangy and temperature-wise seen as the hottest of all colors
  • Brown – Rich, rustic, sheltering, durable, stability
  • Black – Powerful, strong, classic, elegant and mysterious
  • White – Pure, pristine, lightweight, innocent and simplicity

In celebration of their 50th anniversary, Pantone will be releasing limited-edition versions of their Pantone Plus Series. They’ve introduced a fresh new look for the color guides and also now feature a 50th Anniversary case.

If you don’t have a Pantone swatch book or need to update your resources (they do fade over time) then head over to www.pantone.com and order some new swag for your color collection. Or maybe buy a mug with your favorite PMS color on it. I’d tell you mine but you’d have to buy me dinner first.

Q: What influences have color made on your life and what is your favorite Pantone color? Let me know in the comments down below!

Here’s to another 50 years and beyond. Happy birthday, Pantone!

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