Pantone

Pantone logo

Life is sadder when bereft of colour. Pantone, is an iconic brand that has colour at its core – with its Color Matching System .

Virtually every known corporate colour needs a trusted route to ensure the reliability of its use world-wide.

Coca Cola’s red – unofficially Pantone 484C, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk’s purple – Pantone 2685C, EasyJet’s orange – Pantone 021C that has led to frenzy of work for Trade Mark lawyers as its a very similar shade to the orange as used by both Orange Mobile and Hermes – Pantone 151C.

The company produces and sells its iconic Pantone Guides, that are used by many graphic designers and printing shops, and contain a large number of colour variants that are individually identified by a Pantone allocated number for ease of reference. These allow  designers to “colour match” for products pre-production. The Pantone system comprises in excess of 1,100 spot colours.

Pantone Card

Since 2000, the Pantone Color Institute has declared a colour “Color of the Year” allowing those involved in colour trendsetting businesses including fashion and consumer goods to designs future products to stay on theme.

For several years Pantone has licensed certain colours for the development of various lines of merchandising that have brought their distinctive colours – and Pantone numbers – into the home and office in a variety of attractive ways.

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Greenery 15-0343 Mug in Pantone “Colour of the Year 2017” Please click here to buy on AMAZON Pantone Color of the Year 2017 Greenery Mug

In 2007, X-Rite Inc., a supplier of colour measurement instruments and software, purchased Pantone Inc. for $180 million.

STOP PRESS – In line with their annual trend setting policy PANTONE have just announced their color for 2019 – and it is a fabulous and vibrant shade of orange called “Living Coral”

See here the link to PANTONE’s announcement Pantone’s Color of the Year 2019

Images courtesy of Pantone, EasyGroup and CocaCola Inc.

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The Hovercraft

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Seldom do we seen such a dramatic shift away from one established technology with the arrival of a competing and, often, better new technology or solution – this is described by the cruelly true word of “obsolesce”.

A classic example is the Kodiak 35mm film or the Polaroid camera – see our earlier piece here on the Polaroid Camera – when confronted with the dawn of mass digital photography and the ever increasing pixels of the cameras incorporated into mobile phones demand for these former market leaders collapsed.

The powered or manual ribbon typewriter was rendered redundant by the arrival its victor, the word processor/computer.

An equally dramatic commercial market shift can be seen in the impact that the opening of the Channel Tunnel, in May 1994 and the commencing of its passenger services in November 1994, had on the transport links typified by ferry boats and today’s iconic design, The Hovercraft.

On many occasions from the mid 1970’s to late 1980’s I used the Hovercraft services that ploughed between the Kent coasts and Northern France. Akin to flying, rising up then skuttling across the waves on its air inflated “skirt”, the ride was fabulous – if a little noisy – for the sea-sick prone, like me, who could resemble an emerald before a traditional ferry boat had left the harbour!

Not entirely without predecessors, the Hovercraft is regarded as a British invention of  the late 1950’s when mechanical engineer Christopher Cockerell’s and his colleagues developed an annular ring of air for maintaining the cushion and providing lift under the vehicle, combined with a successful “skirt”, resulted in the first practical vehicular use of the concept.

Initially, until no military use was shown, Cockerell’s work and design were Classified. However, it was later Declassified and in 1958 Cockerell obtained funding for a full scale model. Launching in June 1959, it crossed the English Channel on 25 July 1959.

By 1968 a car and passenger cross-channel ferry service was offered by Hoverlloyd from the Kent coast to Calais and Boulogne (France) and, later, by Seaspeed – a joint venture with British Rail and the French equivalent SNCF. In 1981 the two businesses merged to become “Hoverspeed” – whose majestic craft is our featured image.

Hoverspeed Brochure

The Hoverspeed services ceased in 2000 and were replaced by Seacat catamarans until 2005. The reason, often cited for their closure was the impact of the opening of the Channel Tunnel.

I’d also suggest the routes suffered from a decline in so-called “Booze Cruises”, when us Brits, would fill up our cars with lowly taxed beers, wines and spirits in Northern France.

Hoverspeed Booze

Although the Hovercraft continues to enjoy a role, both in the military and civilian services around the world, and production still taking place on the Isle of White – the  home of its design and testing – perhaps like Concorde – see our earlier post here – Concorde by Dominic Baker in years to come and market forces identify demand there will be a revival in the fortunes of the Cross Channel Hovercraft services, I would be a keen supporter.

Hover 2

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Photo credits – Hover Speed And MarkusHerzig.com

 

 

 

 

Polaroid Camera

Designed by Edwin Land 1948

Edwin Land, an American scientist, in 1947 founded Polaroid  and invented instant film. He unveiled the first commercial instant camera, the model 95 Land Camera, in 1948. The camera used a self-developing film that created a chemically developed print which became visible moments after the shot was taken.

Polaroid’s various cameras have used different composition of films and formats. The first examples had positive and negative film rolled onto the cameras spindles. Most recent models used the more convenient integral film which contained all elements for film printing and was offered in the a versatile square format becoming a favourite with creative artists.

The Polaroid model became a firm favourite with traditional photographers for scene setting and ensuring that the composition was correct. The found a natural home in film production with set designers, script and continuity editors to ensure that the set was dressed identically for each shot and that the actors took their correct marks. They were extensively used for ID cards and the instant printing of ultrasound image.

Polaroid was for more than fifty year a company that had advanced a specific technology that was rendered virtually redundant with arrival of digital photography, leaving instant cameras a niche/collector market.

In February 2008, Polaroid was forced to close its manufacturing facility and file for creditor protection under the US Chapter 11 arrangements. In 2009, Polaroid was acquired by PLR IP Holdings, LLC which markets various products such as the Polaroid branded Fuji Instax instant camera – which has acquired a new market particularly younger consumers who are not used to printed photographs – which become excellent keepsakes from a great night out, for example.

My Polaroid: A friend, Stephen Mahoney, the respected Fashion and Media PR is heavily involved in the London fashion scene and had a weekly column in the Evening Standard. He was regularly out at film premiers and other highly visible social occasions taking his Polaroid camera to each event. He would take a shot of a celebrity and they would sign the resulting photo. The best of these shots  were collated for his weekly column which was always eagerly anticipated.