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Pantone: From Beginning to Minion Yellow

Pantone, as it is known today, has been in operation for over 50 years and has a crucial place in the design industry for its colour matching system.

The company was originally a small business which manufactured colour cards for cosmetics companies. In 1962, Pantone was bought out by a current employee, Lawrence Herbert, who had worked for the small business since 1956.

Immediately, Herbert put processes in place to change the direction of the company, with the first colour matching system being brought out the year after his buyout, in 1963.

What is Pantone?

“The idea behind the PMS is to allow designers to ‘colour match’ specific colours when a design enters production stage—regardless of the equipment used to produce the colour. This system has been widely adopted by Graphic Designers, Reproduction and Printing Houses for a number of years now.” – [Source: Design Face]

Pantone’s Matching System (PMS) has become a key tool in the design industry and expands on existing colour reproduction systems, such as the CMYK process.

Pantone’s Latest Colour Paves the Way for the Future

‘Minion Yellow’ was announced as the first new Pantone colour in three years, as well as the first ever branded colour.

Minion Yellow is based on the little yellow creatures from Despicable Me, with the Minions also due to star in their own film – Minions – out June 10.

Does this original way of producing new colours to the Pantone Matching System indicate a new way of working for Pantone?


“Pantone has long established its reputation as the global colour authority,” said Jamie Stevens, Executive Vice President, Global Retail Development, Universal Partnerships & Licensing. “We are thrilled that their colour experts saw market demand for yellow and looked to the Minions, as global pop culture icons, to add into its yellow spectrum.” – [Source: Pantone]

Find out more about Pantone and its history of colours with this great infographic from PSFK.

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