The rich and colorful history of Pantone dates back to 1963, when the young Lawrence Herbert created the Pantone Matching System(PMS) after buying out a small commercial printing company in New Jersey, USA. By assigning a number to each color, anyone could achieve accurate and consistently repeatable color results, and this system catapulted Pantone into becoming the standard language for color communication for color-critical industries. While its roots are in the graphic arts community, Pantone expanded its system concept across a variety of industries and proved that ‘color’ can indeed become a brand.
Welcome to the 46th edition of Magazine B.
After being acquired by Lawrence Herbert, a former printing company employee, Pantone developed into the leading color expert it is today. In 1963, the company developed the Pantone Matching System, a sort of “color standard” that assigns a serial number to every conceivable shade within each family of colors. For example, the designers might fail to use a certain gray that they wanted, due to the monitor or printing conditions,— but if they all use the same serial number associated with a specific Pantone color chip, they can all achieve the same gray. Recognizing the need for perfect color agreement—for the ability to render a color in such a way that it is not influenced or altered by the surrounding environment—industry experts have likened Pantone’s system to a universal language. Quite frankly, Pantone’s current products do not appeal to the average consumer. That’s because they are designed for professional use; it is rare to meet someone outside the graphic design field who is familiar with Pantone. Unsatisfied with the status quo, however, the people at Pantone are seeking to collaborate with other brands to develop products for everyday use.
When a product is not an everyday consumergood, people are unaccustomed to viewing it from a “brand” perspective. However, in diverse sectors within the business world, strategies with potential often reveal themselves. This is how the so-called “branding perspective” begins.
Colors have played various roles throughout human history. They were used in ancient times for purposes of categorization and classification, and modern humans have also used them as a means of self-expression. Fashion designers have become synonymous with their favorite colors, while film directors employ certain colors to impart their own aesthetic sense to the films they create. So what about the world of corporate branding?
In the face of fierce competition, where those who survive are those who set themselves apart, companies are starting to pay closer attention to color. It is becoming increasingly common for companies to consider color as early as the initial brand-planning stage and strategically apply it throughout all subsequent stages of branding as an integral part of their business models. Expressing a brand identity through color is a way to surpass language barriers along the journey to becoming a global enterprise.
Ultimately, all humans strive to distinguish themselves. When asked about the advantages of color compared with writing and other tools of self-expression, one interviewee noted that color was timeless—it is not restricted to a particular time period, style or artistic zeitgeist, and it conveys messages in an emotional and personal manner. Furthermore, the subjective nature of interpretation means that color takes on new meaning for each individual, making color an ideal medium for increasing brand awareness. This issue features a variety of colors portrayed against a number of temporal and spatial backgrounds. As everything in nature has an origin, we hope this issue inspires readers to reflect on the origin of every color.
Taehyuk Choi, Editor in Chief
Instagram posts and comments from Pantone users
Morning scenes from four cities show metropolitan color
Youngsik Oh, CEO and founder of Total Impact
A lineup of Pantone’s chief products
Life in Color
Looking at Pantone through the lens of daily life
Afternoon landscapes from four cities
Pantone’s meaning and applicability in the field
Aurelien Arbet and Jeremie Egry, Cofounders and art directors of Etudes
Brands that have used color as a marketing weapon
Nightscapes and skylines from four cities
Kenji Osanai, CEO of Osanai Design Studio
Colors that dominated their eras
Using color to enhance brand value
Pantone’s color recreations
The behind story and branding strategy behind a company that’s become the color standard
Spaces the embody Pantone’s philosophy
The sensible lifestyle products of Pantone Universe™
The numbers that demonstrate Pantone’s brand scale and product lines
Four cities at midnight
- Suyong Joh
- Editor In Chief
- Taehyuk Choi
- Senior Editor
- Eunsung Park
- Jaewoo Seo, Yeongmin Kim
- Sarah Kessler Jang
- Ayoon Jung
- Sukwang Baak
- Tony Song
- Mihye Nam (Tokyo), Nari Park (London), Jungho Lee (New York), Jeewon Lim (Milan), Hyeseon Jeong (Paris)
- JOH & Company
- Printed in the Republic of Korea
- 978-89-98415-95-2 03050
- Pantone: The Twentieth Century in Color
- Pantone on Fashion
- 좋아 보이는 것들의 비밀 - 컬러
- 128 Colors
- Mod to Memphis: Design in Colour 1960s - 80s
- Interaction of Color: 50th Anniversary Edition
- Colors: What They Mean and How to Make Them
- Secret Language of Color
- The Brilliant History of Color in Art
- Theory of Colours