You’ve seen it in cosmetics, Starbucks coffee cups, and even hospital scrubs, and now Pantone mania has infiltrated the children’s book section.
A series of literary classics cloaked in stark, plain covers are designed to look like the color-standard company’s iconic color-specification chips. Published by Puffin Books this month, the set is touted as an alternative to illustrated book covers that young readers have come to expect.
The project is the brainchild of graphic designer Danielle Calotta, who used a process of free association to come up with the color for each title. Some choices were obvious: green for Anne of Green Gables; black for Black Beauty; metallic gold for A Christmas Carol. Others titles were harder, like The Wizard of Oz, which is covered in a sunny yellow hue. “Some people don’t know that her [Dorothy’s] original shoes [in the book] were silver, but a lot of people know her ruby red shoes. Then there’s also Emerald City, but inevitably, we settled with the yellow brick road,” explains Calotta.