When Lawrence Herbert established Pantone in 1963 as a system of codifying colors for the graphic arts community, little did he know that 50 years later, his brand would be the preeminent authority on color as it pertains to fashion, home furnishings and beauty, with hundreds of branded colors and products in its own right.
This year, Pantone's color of the year is Tangerine Tango, what it calls a "spirited, reddish orange" that can provide us all with the "energy boost we need to recharge and move forward." The shade was embraced by designers and retailers, which used it as inspiration for their product-development lines.
Under Senior VP-General Manager Ron Potesky, the company has maintained an extensive licensing program to enable manufacturers to create products in Pantone colors. He has also struck branded partnerships with retailers like Sephora, which wants to be seen as the comparable color authority in the beauty space. "From high fashion and interior design to corporate branding and advertising, our goal is to continue inspiring designers the world over," Mr. Potesky said. "Pantone has long been synonymous with color-related tools for designers in every design discipline. Today, from mugs and makeup to iPhone cases and our Pantone Hotel, we continue to expand our line of colorful, design-driven products to touch and tempt consumers and inspire designers through our unique knowledge and expression of color."
Pantone's inventiveness knows no bounds when it comes to finding opportunities to tout its color expertise. For the queen of England's Diamond Jubiliee, the company worked with Leo Burnett, London to devise a clever little Pantone wheel that pays tribute to 60 years of her majesty's carefully chosen outfits in lemon, pistachio and coral hues. With each outfit listing a Pantone number and the day she wore the clothing, the wheel was both a PR and branding coup.
See the rest of the 2012 Creativity 50 here.