Color Me Pantone: The Humanae Project

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Pantone is a company that claims to be “the world-renowned authority on color”.  The main idea of Pantone is to “identify, match, and communicate colors to solve the problems associated with producing accurate color matches in the graphic arts community”, as their website says. Brazilian artist, Angelica Dass, is putting Pantone’s color match system to an interesting and very different use with the Humanae Project.

Dass’s website explains that, “the aim of her photographic work is to achieve the public’s direct involvement in photography as a whole concept, as a non-passive communication between people.  All her projects deepen in an important issue: social, cultural and racial identity and masks.” The purpose of the Humanae Project in particular stems from these racial and cultural perspectives. Dass is attempting to catalogue every possible human skin tone using Pantone’s alphanumeric system.

The project is still in progress and will most certainly continue that way for a long time. Dass uses people from all walks of life that vary in age and ethnicity. She photographs the subject and then extracts a pixelated sample of the person’s skin pigment from the photo. Dass then proceeds to find the matching Pantone color code and pairs it with the photograph. Dass herself is a Pantone 7522 C. Using the system that Dass has created, almost any person could find their corresponding Pantone code if they really wanted to.

The Humanae Project as a whole resembles paint swatches, but instead of using Pantone’s coding system to find a nice wall color, Dass is investing her time in a unique way by creating art and celebrating variance. The Humanae Project is not going to be an easy task to complete, if there is even a possibility of it ever being completed, but it exhibits how wonderfully diverse the people in this world really are. There is more to us than just black and white, and that is something Angelica Dass has done a fantastic job in proving.


  1. Jiawen Pek says:

    this is really cool. 🙂

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