When I was a little girl, I used to get so excited when my dad said he was planning a trip to Home Depot. Why? Three words: Free. Paint. Swatches. As a kid, those aisles were my paradise. Rows and rows of every color I could possibly imagine, organized in a way that my young, borderline-OCD mind found oh-so-very-appealing. My dad would drop me off there while he shopped, and I would spend minutes (sometimes hours) examining each color and carefully selecting the swatches I wanted to take home with me, blissfully unaware of the annoyed stares I most certainly received from the Home Depot employees. I didn’t care though. I always left that store with a smile on my face and a pocket full of swatches.

Eventually, my paint swatch-collecting days became a thing of the past, and I found new ways of fueling my color obsession. (namely a pinterest board). Then two years ago, during a lecture on the psychology of color in advertising, I was introduced to a little something called Pantone (pronounced pan-tone), and that giddy feeling I used to get on the paint swatch aisle came flooding back to a now, much-older me.

Color Me Intrigued: A Window into the World of Pantone

Reason #1:

Back in the sixties, Pantone’s founder came up with this nifty system of standardizing color. What this meant was that for the very first time, manufacturers in different locations across the world were now able to ensure that the color of their products was consistent, that they all matched each other. This system was (creatively) named the Pantone Color Matching System, and is still widely used today, especially in branding.

Reason #2:

The Pantone color palette currently consists of over 2500 colors. That’s right, TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED COLORS, each with their own distinct formula! (my heart can’t take it)

Reason #3:

Every year, beginning in 2000, a secret committee of color experts from around the globe has assembled to determine a Color of the Year. If it sounds like I’m overdramatizing this little meeting, I can assure you, I am not. Twice a year, ten people, whose identities are unknown to the public, meet in a completely white room and present their color inspirations, one by one. These individuals come from all different industries, backgrounds, and areas of the world.

Reason #4:

Not only does the Color of the Year impact fashion, interior design, and marketing trends, it is also handpicked to reflect what’s happening in the world. That’s right, the world. The color is meant to mirror the culture and general attitude of society at that particular moment in time. In 2016, for the first time ever, the super-secret color committee selected not one, but two Color(s) of the Year – Rose Quartz & Serenity. And the logic behind it makes a whole lot of sense!

If those four reasons aren’t enough to compel you to get up right this second, drive to the nearest Home Depot, and stock up on Pantone paint swatches, maybe the wise (somewhat blunt) words of Meryl Streep can convince you of the importance of color. (sidenote: Cereulean Blue was the Color of the Year in 2000)

Article by Madison Benvegnu

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