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Pantone Pantone everywhere!

As a graphic designer Pantone has always been part of my professional landscape. It’s a company that created industry standards for the printing breakdown of every color in the rainbow. They took the science of color and turned it into a multi-million dollar business. They virtually own the idea of color.

As a tool that was created by designers for designers it in of itself is very strongly branded. Those little squares of color with black san serif type are an icon that is part of my education and day-to-day landscape. When they came out with wall paint a couple years ago I thought it was such a cool idea. It seemed like the perfect design geek extension to something so recognizable. But then recently it exploded.

Pantone is everywhere. There is even a color of the year, this year being Tangerine Tango. Endless partnerships with fashion designers. Wedding planning swatch books to help you pick bridesmaid dresses. The list goes on. While I’m secretly excited that something I personally love is turning into a branding phenomenon, I also do not want it to get out of hand. When was it that this industry tool became something that promoted itself on folding chairs, Visa cards, West Elm toothbrushes, and pepper mills? It’s almost a situation of Keep Calm and Carry On all over again. Will Pantone  be the feature of my Christmas cards next year? Maybe…

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