What is in a name? What is the story behind the naming of a color?
Lawrence Herbert founded the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM® in 1963, a book
of standardized colors that has been the leading authority worldwide for all color-
critical commercial industries including digital technology, textiles, plastics, archi-
tecture and contract interiors, and paint.
While scrutinizing these standardized color names and the cultural references they
reflect, one discovers embedded within a predominantly post-WWII Anglo-
American worldview that is, quite often, derivative of collective imaginaries of
non-Western cultures, thus contributing to perpetuation of misleading stereotypes
and the exotification of the “other” on a global level.
This Pacific Pantone Palette is a collage of these pantone color chips, images
associated with these names, freak show posters that toured America at the turn of
the 20th century, and postcards from Formosa (current day Taiwan and the origin of
Austronesia) that were shot by Japanese anthropologists towards the beginning of
the 20th century.

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