Project Description

Skin colours – there are so many

When we are working on designing tomorrows hearing aids the colour is one of the relevant questions to ask, and the first thing we noticed in our design research was: why are medical devices skin colored?

When we digged into this issue, we started finding some exciting news: There are more than one million skin tones in the world. There is definitely more skin tones in the world than there is pantone colors. So if you are looking to make a product matching your end users skin tone, should you then make one million different colours?

We will answer that question in another blog, LINK, but here is the skin colours that is mapped according to the Pantone colour card.

Brazilian artist Angelica Dass is attempting to catalog the entire range of human skin tones — to create what she calls a “chromatic inventory” of all humankind.

Her infinite project, titled HUMANAE, involves photographing a subject, taking an 11×11 pixel “sample” of that person’s skin from the resulting image, and matching it to one of the thousands of colors in Pantone’s international color database.

Pantone colors are a standard used by the design industry. Dass then fills the background of the picture with that Pantone, and lists the alphanumeric code the company has assigned that particular shade. Her Web site for the project is kind of mesmerizing. Can you find the Pantone that looks most like yours? [HUMANAE, via Flavorwire]



See the video with Angélica Dass here