The Pantone Color Institute has released its first new color after three years, in a partnership with Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment. The color, Minion Yellow, is inspired by the popular creatures from Despicable Me, who will be starring in their own spin-off movie, Minions, to be released this summer.
The character-inspired color—which is a first for Pantone—began with a suggestion from Pharrell Williams, who originally worked on the Despicable Me soundtrack. The suggestion coincided with the company’s research, which revealed people were hankering for an energizing color to add to their lives.
Part of the Institute’s research into color looks at how different shades affect moods and emotions. Minion Yellow is said to heighten awareness and clarity, according to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director at Pantone Color Institute.
“[It lights] the way to the intelligence, originality and the resourcefulness of an open mind—this is the color of hope, joy and optimism,” she said. “Color is contextual and right now there is a desire for colors that are more vibrant and uplifting. This is especially the case with the yellows, so given the worldwide popularity of the Minions, it seemed only natural to name a color after a character for the first time in our history,” added Laurie Pressman, the Institute’s Vice President.
Being the first time that Pantone has partnered with any sort of movie franchise, the color team worked closely with the animators to get the exact shade right. “When developing the color, we thoughtfully considered the characters’ aura to ensure Pantone Minion Yellow is the exact right hue,” said Pressman.
While Pantone makes no mention of whether the collaboration will be the first of many with Hollywood, the future seems promising with the various promotions that the film is doing using the color.
A bright, sunshine yellow—the color will be used in special collaborations in the lead-up to the film’s launch. It will be used in a line of fashion apparel and accessories created by designers such as Giles Deacon and Tatty Devine—all of which will feature in a pop-up shop in London department store, Selfridges, in June, followed by high-end Paris retailer Colette in July.