Last week, Pantone released their Colors of the Year for 2016: Rose Quartz and Serenity. Pantone’s product line and army of licensing parters has expanded over the last decade. They’ve never been scared to extend their brand to another product line. And so it’s surprising to me that Pantone has never offered ink for fountain pens.
There are all sorts of products that have licensed the Pantone brand including hotels and restaurants. They’ve expanded their brand from providing a common color reference for printers and designers to becoming a worldwide authority on color.
Considering their expertise with press inks, it would seem like a natural fit. Partner with a company like Lamy, Pilot or J. Herbin to offer a range of fountain pen inks that match the most popular Pantone colors. I personally would purchase several bottles of Pantone 202* ink to use at work.
They could leverage the color of the year by releasing an annual limited edition ink color based on the Pantone Color of the Year. Maybe even some special limited edition pens. I would buy a Lamy Safari Limited Edition Pantone Color of the Year pen.
As a designer, the Pantone brand is well connected to my professional life. I really do think that partnering with Pantone to offer products for fountain pens would seriously increase interest in fountain pens and inks from designers.
I don’t know enough about the economics of fountain pens and inks to know if there is enough profit margin in the industry to make it feasible. But personally, I’d love to see Pantone fountain pen ink on the market.
* Pantone 202 is the official color of the University of South Carolina – my alma mater and my employer.