Pantone Barbie

The beyond literal interpretation left me almost speechless (almost being the operative word.) Pantone Barbie is not an unattractive doll and I even like the style of the dress but I keep staring at her the same way I'd stare at a car accident. I want to look away but I can't.

If you aren't familiar with Pantone, it is the name of a company whose color matching system is used by print professionals, all types of designers and other artists. The Pantone website is fascinating.

Doll is available at dealers for pre-order,  December delivery. $49.95


  1. Thank you for explaining this! I had NO CLUE what "Pantone" was supposed to be. I thought it was related to the shampoo, (Pantene) but misspelled somehow.

  2. @miladyblue: I think you're not alone in not being familiar with Pantone.

  3. When I first saw Pantone Barbie my reaction was "Why?" I don't get it. She IS really pretty. But seriously. Who walks around with a bunch of swatch cards stuck on their dress? Not me, that's for sure!

  4. Hey Terri, first time posting on your blog! As a graphic designer I find the idea appealing and interesting, especially since Barbie is known as PMS219 in fact most in the graphic world refer to this color as Barbie Pink. So it is a cute reference. I like the design of the skirt and I like that they used the pantone chips in the design, those are the little samples we use in graphics, to identify color. They are also used however by fashion designers and fabric designers to identify thread colors. I would lose the floral touch on the top of the dress, I don't think that works so well in the pantone chips, be she has a lovely face and love her platinum hair.


  5. @Angelic Dreamz: I agree with everything you have posted. I learned about Pantone as a photography student and a user of Adobe Photoshop.
    I loved the idea of the color chips so much that I purchased a box of them just to play with.
    Hope to see more of your comments on the blog.

  6. As someone who hires graphic designers for print work, and dabbles when necessary, I find the concept amusing, but incredibly niche. A bit surprising for Mattel, who is usually so mainstream as to be bland...

    But who knows? This may become a hot Christmas gift for the artsy fartsy :D

  7. If only she were articulated, she'd be perfect!!!!
    Anne Moore in canada, where we probably won't be able to get her anyway....thanks as always for the update Terri!

  8. Beeing familiar with Pantone, I have to say I loved the literal interpretation Mattel did ^_^

    I will probably have to hunt for that dress.

    It seems like the kind of dress that would popup at a competition like "Project Runway" or so, that were subject to a limited theme / material =)

    It would be nice to see this happening with other concepts.

    Are you familiar with the sculptor Joana Vascocelos? (lives and works in Portugal) She is widely known in the international art comunity.

    She does these fabulous sculptures with the most funny materials...



  9. I think is one of those cases where it was a good idea, but the execution was bad. I love the creativity of the dress, but it's not very attractive IMO and certainly not worth $49.

  10. I think it is a totally silly idea and agree with Edmond, the execution is bad. Not only do non graphic designers not know what the heck those lil swatchs are but even if they don't they make for a clumsy design. Not cute, sorry.

  11. anaaaatchim! - I was just sitting here thinking that it looked like a Project Runway challenge gone horribly wrong.

    "She looks like... a designer acid trip."

    Ok fine I'm no Michael Kors but you know... Nothing will ever top "She looks like a disco soccer ball" anyway. ;)

  12. Also I'm surprised so many people are unfamiliar with Pantone. It's definitely not something only graphic designers know about since I am not a graphic designer but perhaps the only one here who has painted a room herself? :) I honestly thought it was in the realm of common knowledge. Shows what I know!

  13. Did George say “PMS” (PMS219)? Um, okay. No comment.

  14. Home ec. dress + dry hair usually reserved for cheap playline dolls = Gross and so not worth the $49.95. This will be on sale for $15 on the Barbie Collector site in less than a year.

  15. When I first saw this I scratched my head in confusion and uttered, "what were they thinking?!"

    As a graphic artist/designer since the mid 80s before switching careers in 2003...I used those vibrant, expensive little markers in nearly every graphic job I had since graduation and even during my four years as a graphic design student...
    I liked the markers and always had a 'swatch' book and like many other designers - could look at it for hours and study the colors with fascination...

    On a Barbie doll however, as a dress - I don't understand it. Maybe in theory? Maybe someone was inspired by the Sybarites? Maybe they watched one too many Project Runway episodes? Not sure...
    It just doesn't translate well.
    If I had to use only one word to describe my initial reaction - I would have to go with 'cheesy'


  16. This Barbie just doesn't look that interesting to me, but I do like her shoes and jewelry!