Pantone Goes Nude with New ‘SkinTone Guide’

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By Stephanie Murg Comment

We’ve come a long way from that “Flesh” Crayola crayon (the Civil Rights Act nudged the company to rename it “Peach” in 1962). This week, our color-obsessed friends at Pantone debut their SkinTone Guide (pictured), which promises to “match and reproduce lifelike skin tones in a variety of industries.” A boon for those toiling in the color-correction trenches, the 110-hue fandeck and accompanying software is based on more than 1,000 human skin measurements—taken by Pantone pros with non-invasive gadgets such as spectrophotometers and spectro-colorimeters—that represent a broad range of ethnicities and age groups. “The semi-translucent nature of skin makes measuring and reproducing skin tones in print and manufacturing an extremely challenging process,” explained Pantone’s Giovanni Marra in a statement issued yesterday. “By starting with actual skin tones and working back to define a SkinTone color space, we were able to catalog the most realistic and reproducible skin tones.”