Pantone Before Pantone was Pantone

That post title is sure to be a mouthful, but how better do you explain the first ever color matching booklet.  A time long before Pantone.  Sure, Pantone and their staff are the modern day marvels of color but of course someone was doing it prior to them…right?

Back in 1692 an artist known only as “A. Boogert” sat down and produced a book about mixing watercolors.  His plan was to show all possible color variations achievable in watercolor painting.  By adding water and dyes, Boogert was able to create what many would consider the precursor to the Pantone Color Guide.


At just under 800 pages, there is no shortage of colors in this booklet.  Boogert even produced the booklet in “chip” style form very similar to how Pantone would produce 100’s of years later.  For the history buffs, Pantone’s first color guide wouldn’t be published for almost 300 years.

According to Medieval book historianErik Kwakkel who translated part of the introduction, the color book was intended as an educational guide. The irony being there was only a single copy that was probably seen by very few eyes.”

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You can view the entire book in High Resolution HERE.  Do yourself a favor and check out that link – very cool way to view it.  The book is currently stored at the Bibliothèque Méjanes in Aix-en-Provence, France. 

Source: This is Colossal

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