Pantone Color History? Not Quite, but Awesome!

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Imagine this! 271 Years Before Pantone, an Artist Mixed and Described Every Color Imaginable in an 800-Page Book.

A mostly unknown Dutch artist known as “A. Boogert” sat down in 1692 to create an end-all-be-all guide to the use of color- how to create every achievable hue and tone using watercolors. The final product is amazing and almost unbelievable considering the time and organization that went into creating a work of such detail.

Spanning nearly 800 completely handwritten (and painted) pages, “Traité des couleurs servant à la peinture à l’eau”, was probably the most comprehensive guide to paint and color of its time.

We imagine ourselves flipping through that book and can’t help but picture ourselves utilizing it in a similar fashion to the Pantone Color Guide swatch book, which wouldn’t be published for the first time until 1963.

Pantone is an industry standard, and it ensures that if you need a specific color (or set of colors) to print exactly the same, every time, you can specify what is called a ‘spot color.’ It’s guaranteed to look the same no matter if different machines or different companies print it. Pantone is more vibrant and exact than CMYK, and lets you create colors that can’t replicated on even the best calibrated monitors or software.

If you’d like to view the historic book, it’s available here in its full-resolution glory at: http://www.e-corpus.org/notices/102464/gallery/

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