Pantone Debates


As you may or may not have heard, Cadbury Chocolates (one of the major -and best- chocolate producers in the UK) has won the right to own their signature purple Pantone. The colour has been featured on Cadbury’s chocolate products for over 90 years. So why now?

Or the more important question: Should a brand be able to own a colour?

This has sparked a major debate across all disciplines, especially the design ones. A colour is a colour after all. Due to it not being specifically designed by the company or through the companies own measures, many designers believe the colour cannot be owned. After all, Coca-Cola’s red is not a colour owned legally by the brand, yet still is a signature of the brand itself.

But isn’t there a precedence to this debate everyone is forgetting? Tiffany own ‘Tiffany blue‘ and it is illegal to use the exact colour without proper legal documentation. And it’s not just there. Veuve Clicquot has also trademarked the signature orange colour on their bottle packaging.

So perhaps we should just let Cadbury’s own the colour and move on. But I think the true fear is that every brand will claim their colour, making our colour spectrum even smaller. For designers this could mean a smaller box to design within. For new brands: no luck.


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