Merging the worlds of design and travel

July 29, 2010

Pantone is bringing good design to the world in innovative new ways.

Pantone, Inc. is best known as the source of industry-standard references for color. The brand primarily targets design professionals. It is fair to say that Pantone revolutionized the graphic arts industry by allowing designers and printers to categorize and replicate color, accurately, anywhere in the world, by referring to uniform color palettes. Recently, though, Pantone has begun to branch out, addressing a new audience: consumers. Pantone Universe is a new, multifaceted sub-brand that makes Pantone color the centerpiece of everything it does, from the Pantone Universe magazine to a line of themed products ranging from eyewear and jewelry to kitchen gadgets and more.

Photo by ardenswayoflife / CC 2.0

The latest Pantone Universe venture takes a fascinating new approach. The Pantone Hotel – the next big tourist destination in Brussels – immerses guests in Pantone color and design. At a regular hotel, guests are exposed to carbon-copy decorations and wallpaper in muted colors that are neither offensive nor inviting; busy, over-patterned carpets and comforters that conceal; and heavy drapes that block out light. The Pantone Hotel discards that safe, neutral aesthetic. It is a design haven that offers travelers the opportunity to stay in a room inspired by one of seven Pantone color palettes. Earthy and rich. Daring and fiery. Vibrant and intense. Cheerful and warm. Captivating, esteemed and silky. Fresh and eager. Tranquil, aquatic and exhilarating. These descriptions represent the feelings and emotions associated with each of the seven Pantone color palettes available at the hotel.

Infusing life with color
The Pantone Hotel offers guests a radically different and inspiring place to stay. However, the design experience doesn't end at check-out. With products available for purchase at the hotel, guests can take a piece of the Pantone Universe home with them in the form of mugs, office supplies and even bicycles, all of which are designed using the Pantone color palettes. An impressive aspect of the Pantone Universe brand is the way in which it successfully uses visual cues from the Pantone color reference chips as simple branding elements to both convey the idea of color and establish an “insider” design experience. It’s an innovative way to incorporate good design principles into everyday products. To the layperson, bringing design into the everyday world in this way may seem unimportant. However, it has proven to be quite profitable. Companies such as Target and IKEA are great examples of organizations that have made good design a key part of their brand expression. I see this as a positive thing; I envision a strong, lasting bond between the designer’s world and the everyday world. Design should be seen all around us, not just reserved for the elite few – and the Pantone Hotel is the latest expression of what I hope is a continuing trend. With the creation the Pantone Hotel experience, the doors have opened to the creation of a monumental bond between design and everyday life. With new companies, brands and products created every day, it will be interesting to see where the future takes us in regards to design and modern living.

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