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Artist Creates A Pantone Color Guide Of Human Skin Tones

Pierre David uses human skin color to create a new type of guide that showcases the varied, beautiful colors of people in Brazil.

Allie Walker
Allie Walker on May 21, 2012. @NYC_Allie

The Pantone color chart has been used for decades as the definitive guide for artists, designers, decorators, and painters wanting to find the perfect color match. Artist Pierre David used the iconic Pantone color guide fan as inspiration for his work, The Human Pantone.

The Human Pantone recreates the Pantone color guide as a way to showcase and celebrate the beauty in the various hues of human skin tones. Political and thought-provoking, The Human Pantone delves into the questions of beauty, diversity, acceptance, and racism based on skin color. Because the work was commissioned for the Museum of Modern Art in Brazil, David wanted the skin tones in the color guide to represent the reality he saw at the museum, so he used 40 people from the museum’s staff and students from the museum’s School of Fine Arts for his models.

The resulting color chart from the 40 photographs is an array of shades of human skin tones, ranging from pale to dark– all at once highlighting diversity and celebrating the unique characteristics that define an individual.

Scroll through a gallery of The Human Pantone: 

Pierre David

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Allie works in-house at PSFK as the content curator, researcher, and daily writer. A former analyst for the National Geographic Channel and OWN, all things media and advertising have her heart. When she's not busy researching the latest trends, you can find her running or updating her personal blog, JustAllie. She is also a regular contributor to Advertising Week.

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