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Stuart Semple 'Liberates' Pantone Color Of The Year With Viva Meh-Genta

by Rudy Sanchez on 12/06/2022 | 2 Minute Read

Since 2000, makers of color-matching systems and reference books Pantone have announced a Color of the Year. Pantone always accompanies the announcement with an explanation about why they chose a particular color, with plenty of insight the color experts have about trends and what we’ll see in the coming year, written in very PR-y language.

This year’s CotY, “Viva Magenta,” comes on the heels of Pantone turning off some colors in Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite, requiring a monthly subscription to Pantone Connect to restore the crucial feature, even for files made decades ago. Missing colors were replaced with black inside of Creative Cloud, and some designers were less than enthusiastic about the switch.

Editorial photograph

Artist Stuart Semple is not a big fan of “owning” colors and immediately created a “Freetone” plug-in to bring back the paywalled Pantone colors. Now, in response to Pantone’s Viva Magenta, Semple has released “Viva Meh-Genta,” a fluorescent, powdered paint you can mix with water, linseed oil, and acrylic base. Viva Meh-Genta is the latest in a line of colors Semple has “liberated,” which includes Vantablack, Tiffany Blue, and International Klein Blue.

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

All the revenue from Viva Meh-Genta will go to the launch of a “People’s Color of the Year” project, the details of which won't get announced until next year.

As with Freetone, Viva Meh-Genta is available to everyone except Pantone or anyone associated with Pantone. And according to Stuart Semple, technically, Anish Kappor is allowed to buy it, but Semple would prefer he didn’t.


Images courtesy of Stuart Semple.

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