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Pantone, the reference book for the colors that shade our world.


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Editor’s Letter

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

User’s Choice
Pantone’s meaning and applicability in the field

Aurelien Arbet and Jeremie Egry, Cofounders and art directors of Etudes

Color Branding
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

B’s Cut
Pantone’s color recreations

Brand Story
The 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


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.

This issue of “B” details how Pantone became the authoritative, worldwide reference for the commercial use of colors, the people who maintain that position, and their plans for the future. The work of keeping the world colorful, and well-matched, never ends.

Their use of color is definitely important, but their packages are designed to be easy and accessible to both designers and regular consumers. That is how Pantone thrives in this industry. They introduced a color system that anyone can use and developed a concrete product out of something intangible. I think that was the critical point that allowed them to develop into the industry standard.
Youngsik Oh, Designer of Total Design
Color is something that cannot be defined by era, style or artistic trends. Thus it always has the power to speak in personal or emotional ways. Whereas typography, layouts and other graphic elements are tools that are used to give visual form to the symbols or language that already exist in our cultural or artistic experiences, color has its own message and expressivity, in and of itself, and it can bring this to a brand.
Aurelien Arbet&Jeremie Egry, Founders and Artistic Directors Etudes


Pairs with Magazine B: VITRA, Magazine B: HAY and Magazine B: Helvetica

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 consumer good, 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

Additional information

Weight 380 g
Dimensions 9.5 × 6.75 × 0.75 in





6.69 X 9.45in

Issue #