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Change It From Pantone 337C To 17th Of June

A new colour standard that’s easy to reference by pretty much anyone
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Pantone was and is a rock-solid standardised means of referring to colours with enough finesse to perform the arduous duties of graphic design worldwide over the past several decades. Indubitably, graphic design has got us to where we are now, our pinnacle of civilised and refined enlightenment and happy life. Graphic design is the tool enabling some of us to tell the rest of us we’re valid.

The trouble with Pantone is that there are some people around that don’t work in graphic design (or don’t work in graphic design any more) (or don’t work any more) and are either unaware of which number is which shade of which colour, or have lost touch with all this stupid quantification fanaticism and really can’t be bothered remembering numbers as if they’re somehow important or something.

I propose that a new (open) colour standard be formed for the new days of luck and joy ahead. A calendar can be released, where each day is a certain colour. There’ll only be 366 colours in the palette. The palette should sit within the sRGB gamut. Each day is a colour, in a meaningful and inspiring progression ensuring that as the year gets lighter and brighter and warmer, the colours are pleasant and leafy, chilling, breezy, cooling and refreshing. As the depression of winter returns to its seat beside the fire, the colours are warming, strengthening, reinforcing, heartening, inspiring and giving hope.

Now, I know what you’re thinking — the calendar’s days are numbered. But this could also become an extension to the iCal and various electronic calendar standards too, so that they display the day in the appropriate colour too. But it might also see an adoption of paper calendars and diaries with the colour standard too. I’d like one in my filofax diary.

The advantage would be that you could relate colours reasonably precisely from anyone anywhere in the world to anyone else anywhere else in the world very easily, by referring to which day of the year relates to the colour you mean. Each colour is named after a date.

Ian Tindale, Apr 27 2010


       But but but but...my 24 bit computer monitor has the ability to portray 16,777,216 discrete colors (256 red x 256 green x 256 blue), and it would be a true shame to see all those lovely shades go to waste.   

       How about if we go with your idea to name all the colors after a date...but extend the dates into years. It would only take 45,965 years (or so) to have a proper name for all the colors your computer screen can currently offer. So Pantone 337C might henceforth be known as 17th of June, 2356 BC.
jurist, Apr 27 2010

       You could have done without the last sentence, shirley?
daseva, Apr 27 2010

       Please don't call me "Shirley".
jurist, Apr 27 2010

       <sings>"This is the dawning of the age of Aquamarine..."</sings>
hippo, Apr 27 2010

       daseva, - you need the last sentence. How would you know you’ve got to the end, otherwise. Also, as an ex magazine writer and reviewer long ago, I know that people just read the headline and then the conclusion and then if they’re interested, maybe the article itself.   

       jurist, - but that would prevent the interoperability that this offers. Here, you’d simply phone someone in China or America or Germany or Tasmania and say “no, not that sort of yellow, it’s got to be — well, get your diary and look at the 8th of July — that’s the sort of yellow we mean.” and that would work no matter which year my or their diary or calendar happens to be. Obviously there are far more colours than the palette we use, and obviously most people have the hardware to display those colours, even electronically, but the palette is a useful selection, not an attempt to represent every single possible colour. Just like Pantone currently is. It’s just a way of specifying colours in an accurate enough manner. A few hundred is perfectly adequate for that job.   

       My product design tutor when I was at art college often mentioned the time when a colleague of his was specifying a colour of something they were designing to an overseas person on the phone, neither were in their studio at the time, and the best they could do was to get a tube of Smarties and match the corresponding colour on that (because it actually was almost exactly the colour of that Smartie), and it worked.
Ian Tindale, Apr 27 2010

       People would complain about certain days having an offensive or inappropriate colour ... [+]
Aristotle, Apr 27 2010

       They do anyway. This would enable agreement.
Ian Tindale, Apr 27 2010

       255, 255, 255 and 0,0,0 alternating on February 29th.
wjt, Apr 27 2010

       0,0,0 would be October 29, 1929.
coprocephalous, Apr 27 2010

       Would it not make more sense to define (preferably with a standard housed in a glass cabinet in France) the values of the "-ish" and the "-y"? When used with the accepted primary colour names, these would give you a precise vocabulary for the quantificication of all known hues.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 27 2010

       Good point. You could then describe it as “thursday- ish”.
Ian Tindale, Apr 27 2010

       It works, but not for the entire gamut. I can see that summer could either be greenish, brownish or yellowish, and what about pink or purple? I think the best thing would be to have three dimensional time and calendars instead.
nineteenthly, Apr 27 2010

       Somehow, the first Monday on the chart needs to be normalized to black.
RayfordSteele, Apr 28 2010

       Excellent idea.[+] In a leap year you get to use a special extra colour, decided upon by an international committee.
xenzag, Apr 29 2010

       Lester stared at the page on his wall calendar. Somehow, this wretched shade of bilious green, this May 8th, always made him feel a little nauseous.   

       Sure, while he was at home he could hang a dishtowel over the offending eyesore, but all day long and at work he'd have to face it everywhere he turned. There just weren't enough dishtowels in the world. How he longed for more than just 366 colours!   

       "Why, oh why," he moaned softly, "couldn't they have had the foresight to allow each day's colour to evolve through its passing?"   

       It's simple, really. This new calendar's meaningful and inspiring progression of colours is an inspiration in itself. Days are already conveniently divided into 24 equal parts, called "hours" and Nature provides a handy light source which varies in its intensity as the day progresses. This variation presents subtle changes in how we view the colour of the day, so why not print the day's colour in hues which vary subtly by the hour? That would give us 8784 colours to work with instead of just 366.   

       Imagine the feelings of expectation and joy to be had with the arrival of each new hour, as it brings with it a subtle shift in hue. Colour has long been known to affect a person's behaviour, so the progression of the change could be tailored to yield the desired result. Make the colour bolder to encourage people to work harder, or soften the hue to help them relax near the end of their day. This is what might be achieved if each colour is named after an hour of each day.   

       Best of all, each May 8, Lester would only have to suffer for one hour dealing with that wretched, nauseating, bilious green.
Canuck, Apr 29 2010


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