History of Color

Goals

To provide data to be used in a blog post, understand the history of color, the history of the Pantone color chart, and the importance of color in branding.

Early Findings

PANTONE

  • Initially, Pantone was a company that produced color cards for cosmetics companies. It was purchased in 1962 and the focus was changed to developing color matching systems. Branding almost always uses the PMS Color Guides.
  • Color can be defined using different formats and Pantone is the typical choice for printed material. One reason for this is that Pantone colors are pre-mixed so it is easier to maintain consistency across printed products.

HISTORY & PSYCHOLOGY

Blue

  • Using the pigment of blue azurite is the first documented use of the color blue. Egyptians used it for jewelry and decoration.
  • The word "blue" is never mentioned in ancient Greek texts, which has led historians to believe the word did not exist at that time.
  • In 431 AD, the catholic church decided to color code saints and gave Mary the color blue. Because Mary was seen as trustworthy and innocent, the color blue became associated with those characteristics as well.
  • Surveys in both the U.S. and UK indicate that blue is the favorite color of both men and women.
  • Blue is the dominant color in branding for tech, financial, and medical.

Red

  • Red was one of the first colors used by artists, likely because it was easily found in the form of red ochre, which could be ground to use as a paint.
  • Throughout the years, many shades of red became important, including cinnabar, crimson, minium, Chinese red, and cadmium.
  • Red generally signals intense emotions such as anger, love, and danger. In Asian countries, red is often viewed as lucky.
  • Red can promote different emotions depending on the shade used. Examples of companies that use red in branding are Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Netflix, and Canon.

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