How The Home Depot Got its Color

THD_PMS_5prcnt_Rule_largeIn 1978, the Pantone Matching System (PMS) was just 15 years old, so it’s difficult to say if The Home Depot (THD) settled on PMS 165 then or if it was added to the company’s style guide some years later. According to corporate history, “We painted our signs on bright orange circus-tent canvas, which cost a fraction of of the more common electric signs,” says The Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus.

Company history documents say, “The color orange stimulates stimulates activity and is often associated with affordability.”

Whether the psychological motivation is true for shoppers, there is no getting around the fact that The Home Depot’s bright orange has become one of the more ubiquitous colors in retail. It is also arguably more recognizable than the stencil logo of the company name.

Don Watt, a well-respected Canadian designer was redesigning “no name” generic product packaging for Lolaw Company Limited when Marcus and co-founder Arthur Blanc asked him to design the company logo. The typography points up to signify success, according the THD.

Pantone is celebrating 50 years and HOW plans to honor their work all year long. The company’s brilliant matching system is key to branding and audience engagement. If you don’t have your Pantone color matching system books, chips or guides, this week is the time to do it. offers the lowest prices on Pantone and this week you can get 10 percent off your purchase by using the coupon code P10March now through 3/31/13.