It wasn’t too long ago that general conceptions of depicting skin tones in art fell within either one of two categories: white or black. The word “nude” almost always implicitly referred to a light peachy hue by default, and the limitless spectrum of skin colors in our world went virtually wholly ignored. While we still have a long way to go in our pursuit of greater inclusivity both generally and specifically in the design space, Pantone has made important strides in providing tools for creators across industries to use to accurately depict an ever-growing array of skin tones.
After first releasing the original Pantone SkinTone Guide ten years ago, which included 110 unique pigment shades, Pantone has now announced an additional 28 dynamic shades in their 2023 Pantone SkinTone Guide, available now. This expansion pack sees an addition of darker tones and yellow undertones, inspired by gaps in the existing guide offerings that were identified by customers. The improved guide is compatible with Pantone Connect to be broadly used across digital and physical applications in all types of industries. Applications for the Pantone SkinTone Guide work across a variety of fields, with users ranging from the fashion (apparel, costume design and intimates), beauty (cosmetics and skincare) and product design (digital and gaming, toys, and prosthetics) spaces.
The release of this special edition Pantone SkinTone Guide marks the 10th anniversary of the development of the initial product, and symbolizes Pantone’s ongoing commitment to creative inclusivity across cultures and communities. “From fashion, beauty, to product development, the 2023 SkinTone Guide has been part of Pantone’s continuous and ongoing effort to help brands and designers to meet these needs to try to include every skin tone match imaginable, and to ensure the guide is reflective of true coloring across a wider array of skin colors,” Pantone penned in a press release.
Thankfully for all of us, the days of a single light pink colored pencil serving as artists’ only skin tone option are behind us.