Despicable hue? Pantone introduces Minion Yellow

Pantone Minion Yellow
Pantone has partnered with Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment to introduce its first-ever color named after a movie character: Minion Yellow.
(Pantone & Universal Studios)

Pantone, the company known for its annual color-of-the-year prognostications (including this year’s reddish-brown shade that goes by the moniker “Marsala”), has officially entered the movie-merchandising arena with the announcement of a new hue dubbed “Minion Yellow.”

Announced recently via Pantone’s website, it’s a partnership between the company, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Partnerships & Licensing and, as you have probably gathered, it is based on the color of the many, many Minion characters from the “Despicable Me” franchise including the upcoming prequel “Minions,” which is set to hit theaters July 10.

The announcement calls the collaborative color “an extroverted hue [that] projects playfulness and warmth and is suggestive of intellectual curiosity and enlightenment,” and includes the following from Leatrice Eiseman, executive director, Pantone Color Institute.

Pantone Minion Yellow is a color that heightens awareness and creates clarity,” Eiseman said, “lighting the way to the intelligence, originality and the resourcefulness of an open mind – this is the color of hope, joy and optimism.”


A limited-edition designer capsule apparel and accessories collection inspired by the color (including pieces by Rupert Sanderson and Giles Deacon, among others) has been created and is expected to debut at Selfridges in London in June before expanding distribution globally in July. The shade will officially be added to Pantone’s fashion, home and interiors color palette with the next color addition. (Maybe that’s why, unlike the rest of the hues, there’s only a name for it but no number.) 

According to the April 14 press release, Minion Yellow marks “the first time in the global color authority’s history that a color has been created and named after a character.”

If the effort generates a substantial influx of cash green to any of the parties involved, it almost certainly won’t be the last. In fact, I’m going to start working on my character color wish list right now.

After all, what would spruce up that abandoned warehouse better than a fresh coat of, say, a “Reservoir Dogs” inspired shade of Mr. Pink?


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