18 September 2012

PANTONE Unveils A Collection Of 110 Skin Tone Shades

Global color authority PANTONE has unveiled the ‘PANTONE SkinTone Guide’, an official collection of 110 shades of nude.

The collection hopes to be a standard for matching skin color, and can be used where skin tone needs to be accurately matched to a color standard.

According to PANTONE, the guide can be of many uses, such as in: Product design, to develop and control natural skin tones for toys and a variety of products and accessories; Photography, to easily match skin tones for accurate photo editing and retouching; Print/Packaging/Graphic Design, for quality control standards for consistent and appealing skin tone reproduction.

“The guide will help take some of the guesswork out of the color correction process by providing our experts with a defined system for reaching skin tone color targets, saving us time and eliminating costly mistakes,” Victor Basile, senior vice president, director of print graphic services at Publicis Groupe, said in a statement.

The SkinTone Guide has 110 pages, each dedicated to its own SkinTone shade for accurate visualization—each page has a small circular cut-out for users to compare the sample to the PANTONE color.

To create the guide, several high-end spectrophotometers were used to ensure precision, and more than 1,000 human skin tones were scientifically measured and collected from a diverse 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,” Giovanni Marra, director of corporate marketing at PANTONE, said in a statement. “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.”

“In most other color palettes, the color ‘nude’ is unfortunately relegated to a few skin colors, but in reality, nature has given us a multitude of beautiful shades of skin,” Marra added.

The guide is arranged from light to dark and utilizes a four-digit alpha-numeric system: the first two digits reflect the hue or undertone of the skin; while the second two reflect the tone or lightness and darkness of skin.