Why Is Pantone’s Vibrant New Yellow Shade Named After a Cute and Tiny Character?

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Pantone Minion Yellow.
Andy Warhol, Flowers FS. II 67 (1970).
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Winston Roeth, Trance (2007).
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Camill Leberer, Subkutan (2013).
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Karel Appel, Mother and Child (1974).
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Sonia Delaunay Terk, Petite Automne (undated).
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Bernd Zimmer, Reflexion (2010).
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The Pantone Color Institute, an institution for color marketing and branding, has announced a new shade in its lineup of offerings: Minion Yellow.

The hue is inspired by the color of the cute tiny characters from the Despicable Me film franchise (in which a man sets out to steal the moon, aided by shrink rays, freeze rays, and an army of small yellow beings) and the upcoming prequel Minions (the small yellow creatures).

Supposedly thought up by the film’s soundtrack creator, producer Pharrell Williams, the animators at Illumination Entertainment worked with the Pantone team to formulate the distinct shade of yellow.

This is the newest color Pantone has released in three years, and it is the first color to be inspired by a character.

“Color is contextual and right now there is a desire for colors that are more vibrant and uplifting, ” Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Institute said in a press release. “This is especially the case with the yellows, so, given the worldwide popularity of the Minions, it seemed only natural to name a color after a character for the first time in our history.”

We’ve spotted Minion Yellow in several artworks already. Now the question is: Will a bevy of designers and artists follow suit at the Pantone institute this upcoming season?

Also, how will the success of the custom Minion Yellow color compare to Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year, which is Marsala? We note that “Pantone Minion Yellow is a color that heightens awareness and creates clarity, lighting the way to the intelligence, originality and the resourcefulness of an open mind—this is the color of hope, joy, and optimism,” said Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

Minion Yellow will be featured as part of the company’s fashion, home, and interiors color palette so that designers, artists, and interior decorators will have a chance to put the bright hue to good use.

Minions (the movie) opens in theaters on July 10, 2015.

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