I’ve always stood by the idea that reading should teach you something. Every time you soak up a bit of writing, your IQ ought to creep upwards. To that point, I’d like to introduce a new series of “Crash Course” blogs that will teach you something in a brief attention-span-friendly manner. Today’s topic: Pantone.

Who / what is Pantone? We’ll take it straight from the horse’s mouth (http://www.pantone.com/about-us):

(Pantone is) ... the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries. The PANTONE® name is known worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer.

Let’s break that down from a fundamental standpoint. In short, the Pantone Matching System is a universal library of colors used across the globe. For example, consider a linen retailer/supplier such as ourselves at eluxurysupply: what happens we want to send a new comforter design to the manufacturer? How do they know exactly what color(s) to use? Do they ballpark it? Negative. They turn to a Pantone color library designed specifically with textiles in mind. They find the color we have specified in advance. Listed below that color in the swatch book is a formula for exactly how to mix that particular color of dye for the fabric. They get it right, we get the product we wanted, everyone’s happy.

That describes the wide array of Pantone’s Matching Systems in a (very small) nutshell. The company as whole has come to be known as the authority on color. Consumers, designers, decorators, printers, and a whole slew of others look to Pantone for what colors will be “hot” in any given year. This year, for example, the Pantone Color of the Year is “Marsala” -- an earthy wine color. Lo and behold, you’re likely to stumble across this color at least a few times in 2015.

That’s it. I kept it short, sweet, and attention-span-friendly as promised. Even if you accomplish nothing today, you can say you learned something new.