I've had a deep and abiding love affair with Pantone since my first year in art school. First year in most art schools means having to take a class in every discipline, even if you think you already know what you want to focus on, and I groaned when I saw that Design 101 was on my schedule.
Design was so not what I had come to art school to do, and funnily enough, it turned out to be fun, and something I was good at... funny how that works, skill and desire for something I never would have done on my own.
The first assignment was about illustrating a word. I got the word "naked".
We were given a list of materials we could use to complete the project and off I went to the school store to look at what my options were. It was then and there that I met Pantone papers, then printed by Letraset.
I had never heard of Pantone, never knew you could buy sheets of printed paper in colours that stretched though more hues and shades and tints then I had ever seen before. I was smitten. I was, truth be told, delirious. And if I had had thousands of dollars would have purchased one (and in some cases three) of everything. I did purchase a few in my favourite colours, and then purchased 5 shades of "naked", and completed my first design assignment (pre-Photoshop, Illustrator and etc).
In this wonderfully modern age of electronic everything, some things have gone the way of the dinosaur, and the pantone papers are no longer made, but you can find them here and there, every once in a while.
I still have some 3" x 5" sample sheets that I use sometimes. But mostly, I look at them and arrange the colours and remember the first time I met Pantone.
And what got me started down this particular memory lane? Well, just in time for NY Fashion Week, Pantone released their Fall 2012 Colour Report.