I had a chance to visit Pantone’s headquarter in New Jersey last week, and it was definitely a great experience!

The first thing that came in our sights was the color of the year- Emerald. There is a cabinet that displays all sorts of products in emerald such as watches and cosmetic sets at the entrance, as well as a huge wall painted all in emerald. The thing that surprised me the most at Pantone was probably that everything in their office is color-coded based on a system developed by Pantone to sort out colors. It must have been a huge effort to label most of the things in their office!

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We also had a tour to their factory behind the office, where the color books and fabrics are made. I was surprised by how they accurate the measure every single piece of paper with what is called a Spectral Photometer, and if anything goes wrong, the printer would be able to correct the mistake by itself. The fabric department of the factory is even more amazing. I also learned that the Pantone color system is not only used in print industry but also fashion manufacturing industry so that what is being produced oversea can accurately match the original samples designed in the US. The fabrics are also monitored by the Spectral Photometer as they are being dyed. Even with the Spectral Photometer, there are still a lot of rejects as you can see in the picture below.

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The last part of the field trip is about the prediction of the trend in fashion. As we are still in 2013 right now, they are already predicting the fall and winter trends of 2014 and 2015. The researches they have done are so detailed that it covers almost every aspects in men’s and women’s fashion trends. And they use the same presentation to hold seminars all over the world for different fashion brands to decide the direction of their design for the coming seasons.

I felt really lucky that I had a chance to see what’s inside Pantone’s headquarter since there are a lot of secrets hidden in there. After the field trip, I think I have gained some knowledge about the importance of Pantone color system in our life as well as the field of design, and I hope I will be able to utilize it soon in the upcoming projects and assignments.

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