Define This: What is Pantone Color?

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Do you ever have moments when it comes to design jargon, that you are left feeling like the only person in a crowd that didnt understand a seemingly hilarious joke? And then to hide your confusion you laugh like you TOTALLY got it? No? Just me?

This series is all about defining designs, trends, and basic design knowledge that you probably should know but may not. (its ok, I wont tell anyone!)

Today we are chatting all things Pantone. When I asked on my Facebook page what design terms were stumping my readers, Pantone came up numerous times. So here it is in simple easy to understand explanation why Pantone is Boss when it comes to color.

Most average joe pinterest addicts know Pantone by their famous Color of the Year. They announce it, everyone freaks, and all of a sudden you see Emerald Green (the color for 2013) everywhere. But Pantone is so much more than a magic 8 ball color trend predictor.

Pantone Emerald
Image: Pantone

What Is Pantone?

In 1963 Lawrence Herbert created an innovative system to solve the problem of color matching in graphic arts printing. (Do you see blue the same way I see blue?) By creating a fan deck of standardized colors Pantone was able to unify what everyone was trying to do. And while this color system was used mostly for print, it made its way into textiles, fashion, plastics and pretty much anything else that uses color.

So now that you know WHO Pantone is, let me tell you why I think that they are so fantastic. Every year The Color of the Year is chosen in a secret meeting of representatives from various nations’ color standard groups. (I mean, how do you even get that job?!) They sit down and discuss well, color, obviously. When they choose the color of the year, there are many many factors that go into it. One of my favorite being how they want it to impact people to feel (remember when we talked about that here?) This years color, Emerald, is described as a luminous, magnificent hue, the color of beauty, new life and prosperity.

So is it just color?

Pantone has grown from being a color standardizing company to being the world leader in color. They have numerous lines that effect every industry from Fashion, to Home, to Print, to their wares line Pantone Universe. This line is chock full of products featuring their iconic color swatches (nothing like having an iphone case with Tangerine Tango on in. I mean, that is so 2012). On a side note, I am obsessed with these mugs. I will take one in all 2100 colors.

Create Your Own
Image: Pantone Universe

The most inspiring treasure that I found while researching this post is the Pantone Hotel in Brussels Belgium. (Just added that to my bucket list, how about you?)

Pantone Hotel
Image: Pantone Hotel

I hope this post gave you a little more info so that the next time Pantone comes up in a conversation you can share some of your new found knowledge. Like the Hotel. Use the hotel.

So tell me friends, what design terms do you wonder about? Leave a comment with the thing that has you head scratching and you may just see it answered here!

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Mandi Gubler is a DIY/Shelter Blogger known for her fearless approach to all things Do It Yourself. She is a self proclaimed thrift store junkie, craigslist stalker (not the killing kind) and garage sale maven. Mandi started her blog Vintage Revivals in July 2010 with zero DIY/Design experience. She apparently had a hidden talent that once released, not only changed her life but inspires millions. Mandi's approach to design is simple. She believes that true style has the chance to emerge when you stop worrying about what everyone else is doing, will think, or might say, and do what makes your guts grin.