[Alyson Kuhn] Look, everyone, look! See the book? The book is a box. The box is full of postcards. The postcards are big color chips. They are fun to fan out. They are fun to mail. And they are really fun to photograph with stuff you have.
Designer Brooke Johnson says, “Pantone 100 was a natural as the title card of the box.”
Bridget Watson Payne, editor of art books and paper goods at Chronicle Books, offers this background: “We shared a selection of our most beloved product formats with Pantone, and ended up publishing the ones we agreed were the strongest and best able to convey the cool Pantone vibe.”
Brooke Johnson at Chronicle Books designed the box of postcards. “We’ve published several other 100 postcard sets that have featured artwork from Star Wars comics, Toy Story, Marvel comics, art from McSweeney’s and so forth,” she recalls. “We showed these to Pantone, and they loved the format and wanted us to produce a set for them.”
“We printed the postcards CMYK,” says Johnson, “so I chose spot colors that could be faithfully matched this way. So, no Orange 021. There’s no way we could get that to look even close.”
Johnson elaborates on her color selection process: “We wanted to include an equal mix of colors from Pantone’s Fashion and Home color system and their Plus Series print system — the system that graphic designers are most familiar with. The fashion and home system utilizes fun names as well as numbers for each color, so the name definitely was an important part of criteria for inclusion in the set … it had to be a name that someone would want to send. The set works in chromatic order, starting with yellow at the top and going to blacks at the bottom. Pantone’s new Plus Series reorganizes spot colors into chromatic order, and I followed their system.”
At the bottom of the box and the bottom of the bag: Pirate Black (Pantone 19-4305)
She also designed two Pantone journals: Honeysuckle (Pantone 18-2120) is Pantone’s 2011 color of the year, and the Pantone Chips cover features actual chips laid out in a grid. Payne says, “This fall, we continue the stationery line with a set of 20 different notecards. We’re also coming out with a big amazing book, Pantone: The 20th Century in Color, in October, which Brooke designed as well. And we’ve got more exciting products lined up for 2012.”
Design details: the Chronicle Books logo is on the 1/2-in. perfect-bound spine. Graph grid pages.
The cover art is a photograph of an arrangement of Pantone chips art directed by Johnson.
Back to the postcards: Their message side includes three lines for an address, and a little rectangle for the stamp. But for this correspondent, the temptation to put the stamp on the color chip was too great. (The Pantone postcards only need 29¢ postage, but I wanted to use specific 44¢ stamps.)
Michael Carabetta, Chronicle Books creative director, posted his first card with a jaunty motorcar, the lucky recipient’s favorite antique toy stamp.
Bridget Watson Payne has posted a vibrant behind-the-scenes story about the Pantone projects on the Chronicle Books blog. Her own blog is extremely colorful as well. Brooke Johnson is feeling Celestial (Pantone 18-4530) about last week’s printing of Pantone: The 20th Century in Color. Michael Carabetta generously snapped all photos for this feature.