The Forerunner of Pantone: A Color Guide from 1692


Picture 6My designer friend Rick told me about this vintage color book today, and I found it so interesting! In today’s color world, Pantone® is considered the worldwide expert and their Pantone® Color Guides are used by designers, manufacturers, and retailers in developing products and communicating accurate color information. Their first color guide (or Pantone Matching System) was published in 1963. But 271 years before that, a little-known Dutch artist, “A. Boogert,” wrote a book about color mixing that uncannily resembles today’s Pantone color chips! Here are some pictures from that vintage book, Traité des couleurs servant à la peinture à l’eau, as featured on the design site Colossal


Picture 8

The book has almost 800 handwritten and hand painted pages; no other copies of it were ever produced. It is kept at the Bibliothèque Méjanes in Aix-en-Provence, France.

colors-6So there’s a little history lesson for you today! 🙂 I just love vintage books and find something like this beautiful and fascinating! Are you a collector of vintage books or other vintage items?


7 thoughts on “The Forerunner of Pantone: A Color Guide from 1692

    1. nancyc Post author

      I thought it was so interesting–Rick had given me a link about it–amazing how much those watercolor swatches look like pantone chips! 🙂



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