Pantone started out, under another name, as a printing company, and one of its employees, Larry Herbert, got tired of trying to figure out exactly what hue his clients meant when they said things like “I want kind of a wine red” or “Sort of like a sky blue, but darker.” He was the one who realized that the printing industry — and, ultimately, the rest of the design world — needed a standardized color reference, and he created one; now its descendants are used the world over. (How Pantone got to be the one to name a “Color of the Year” is a different, more irksome story.) – Slate

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