In the 1960s Lawrence Herbert came up with the universal language of color, called Pantone. He was tired of each manufacturer having their own colors for specific shades. When you ordered a color like “wheat,” you never knew exactly which “wheat” color you would get. So he created a unified system where each shade was a number, sort like Hex color codes.
“If somebody in New York wanted something printed in Tokyo, they would simply open up the book and say, ‘Give me Pantone 123,’ ” Herbert says; 123 (a daffodil yellow) would look exactly the same the world over. Herbert created a sample page to show how the system worked and sent it to ink makers. Fifty years later, he still owns a copy of that page: “I’ve got it right here in my office in Palm Beach.” Read more about Pantone at the New York Times.What’s the most unusual use of the Pantone system?
Calvin Klein kept a Pantone chip in the kitchen to signal to his chef what color he wanted his coffee to be.