Pantone-Style Medieval Color Catalog Unearthed

For fifty years, the Pantone Color Guide has been essential for designers working to match and coordinate colors. But now it seems that the venerable 1963 reference tool may not be quite so innovative after all. Medieval historian Erik Kwakkel recently unearthed a 700-page, handwritten book by Dutch artist A. Boogert, Traité des couleurs servant à la peinture à l’eau, which outlines how to mix colors and change their tones by adding varying portions of water, complete with an index of all the shades described within. The most interesting part is when compared side by side, the layout of both the historic and modern color guide presentations are quite similar.


Check out Fast Company’s story for more details and spreads from the book.

Story and images via Fast Company.