Pantone Colors: “Online Lime” or “Cloud Dancer”?


Pantone, Inc. is most known for its color swatches. No two humans perceive color in the exact same way, so it’s not easy to perfectly match colors.


Pantone began as a commercial printing company in the late 1950’s. In 1963, recent graduate and part-time employee Lawrence Herbert used his chemistry knowledge to systematize the company’s stock of pigments and colored inks. He created an innovative system of identifying, matching and labeling colors, as well as keeping a formula for their composition.

His ideas helped to solve many problems associated with producing accurate color matches in graphic design. For example, Kodak contracted several companies to print its film packaging. However, all film boxes had varying shades of yellow. As a result, customers tended to leave the darker ones on retail shelves. After applying Pantone’s system, all boxes for Kodak have been produced with the exact same color tone.

Since 1960’s, Pantone has expanded its color matching system concept to other industries, including textiles, plastics, architecture, interior design and digital technologies.


Some Pantone colors have very interesting names:

  • Online Lime
  • Cyber Yellow
  • Elfin Yellow
  • Apricot Illusion
  • Burnt Orange
  • Sand Dollar
  • Shocking Pink
  • Shrinking Violet
  • Goblin Blue
  • Cloud Dancer
  • Angel Falls
  • Turbulence

What color is your favorite?

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