When Jay-Z decided to buy his own custom colour
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When Jay-Z decided to buy his own custom colour

Many corporations have such success with a unique colour that, through the company Pantone, they patent the colour so that no other brands can make products, graphic designs or else for profit using the patented colour.

Barbie has its iconic pink shade, jewellery company Tiffany and clothing brand GAP have their own patented shades of blue, and even the specific yellow of the Despicable Me minion characters has been patented. 

However, an individual rarely decides to patent a particular colour, especially when it is not synonymous with them, but Jay-Z (real name Shawn Carter) did precisely that. The Pantone Colour Institute is where a lot of these colours are developed and patented for exclusive use, and it can cost tens of thousands of dollars to craft a colour.

Usually, corporations approach Pantone to develop and patent colours, understandably, as logos and other marketing tools are essential for creating a compelling brand. However, rarely does a single individual attempt to do this, and only two figures in history have.

In 2007, The Brooklyn native presented fans with his personal shade of blue on a limited edition GM Yukon Denali car, which glittered with platinum dust. It is rumoured that a member of Carter’s team brought along a piece of the hip-hop mogul’s motorcycle as a guide when meeting with Pantone.

A lot of Jay-Z’s brands are linked to blue. From his daughter, Blue Ivy, to his Blueprint albums and more. However, Hov has kept the name of his colour confidential so people won’t be able to identify his personal creations. The Pantone colour database has over 2161 shades.

In 2011, Sherry Chris, the CEO of a New Jersey-based real estate firm, bought her own colour. A lilac shade. Upon completion, buyers get a colour card that provides formulas for consistency across various textures, from paper to cotton, nylon, metal and more.

In a 2016 interview about Carter and Chris, Pantone Vice President Laurie Pressman revealed, “Both of them were very clear on what they wanted in their signature shades. When somebody comes with a very clear idea of what they’re looking for, that shade definitely has meaning for them.”

When asked to describe Carter’s blue, Pressman detailed, “I would describe that shade as a mesmerizing blue. There’s a pearlescent quality to that blue. There’s a magnetic quality to that blue. It’s a happy blue. It’s an optimistic blue,” she said. “It was pretty smooth sailing with Jay Z.”

You can learn more about Pantone in the video below.