Pantone & Mimosa

Written by tony smith
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Pantone & Mimosa
Pantone's Mimosa colour was inspired by Mimosa flowers. (MIMOSA image by Alain SORIANO from

Pantone 14-0848 Mimosa is a very popular colour in the Pantone's colour matching system due to a series of well-timed press releases and promotional efforts from the company. A unique combination of timing and publicity has kept the buzz about Pantone and Mimosa in the media since 2008. Pantone's promotion of its Mimosa colour led to the creation of a completely new Pantone colour system.


Lawrence Herbert created a groundbreaking colour matching system in 1963 that led him to found Pantone. Before the creation of the Pantone matching system, colour matching was a difficult problem for graphic artists and printers because there was no standard for reproducing the colours designers intended. Over the decades, Pantone has expanded their colour-matching expertise to other industries such as textiles, paint and plastic. X-Rite, Incorporated, another leader in the colour matching industry, acquired Pantone as a wholly owned subsidiary in 2007.

Color of the Year

In December 2008, Pantone selected Pantone 14-0848 Mimosa as their colour of the year for 2009. Mimosa is a warm yellow colour based on the flowers of the same name. Pantone announced the selection with a press release and further publicised it with a large-scale retail promotional effort. The combination of the two made it one of the successful colour of the year promotions in Pantone's history.


According to Pantone's 2008 press release, it chose Mimosa because "In a time of economic uncertainty and political change, optimism is paramount and no other colour expresses hope and reassurance more than yellow." Leatrice Eiseman, an executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, further explained, "The colour yellow exemplifies the warmth and nurturing quality of the sun, properties we as humans are naturally drawn to for reassurance. Mimosa also speaks to enlightenment, as it is a hue that sparks imagination and innovation."

The Gap

In January 2009, Pantone teamed up with the Gap to offer limited-edition Mimosa coloured t-shirts at the Gap's flagship 5th Avenue store in New York. Additionally, the store also offered a full line of Gap tees for their upcoming spring collection designed with Pantone colours. They also sold other Pantone Universe items such as office supplies, books, accessories and colour-themed stationary. Patrick Robinson, executive vice president of design for Gap Adult and GapBody, supported the joint effort by stating, "We wanted to create an explosion of colour and bring some warmth and optimism to our customers. Mixing Pantone's vibrant colours with Gap's signature t-shirts gives everyone an opportunity to find the perfect tee they can mix and match for their own personal style."

Industry Support

Before 2010, graphic designers could not select Pantone 14-0848 Mimosa as a colour choice in programs such as Adobe Creative Suite because it was strictly a paint and textile colour. In May 2010, Pantone announced that it had teamed with leading software and output device manufacturers such as Adobe, Canon, Heidelberg, Quark, Xerox and other industry leaders to offer support for their new Pantone Plus series. Support for the Pantone Plus Series offers designers a wider range of colours to choose from and support for more accurate printing reproduction. The Pantone Plus Series includes Pantone 14-0848 Mimosa, a long-awaited addition to Pantone's matching system.

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