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Urbis

By: Meaghan Li, Duke ’14

Urbis is a chromatic index that reflects the moods of various European cities by referencing, and then going beyond, the Pantone Color Matching System.

Pantone Inc., a company from New Jersey, is now a household name. While their paint products are used ubiquitously in industries ranging from manufacturing to fashion to interior design, Pantone’s minimalistic branding and distinctive color swatches have transformed the company into a cultural icon. The innovation of Pantone’s Color Matching System in 1963 was a momentous breakthrough for the graphic design industry, creating a revolutionary method to classify and standardize existing colors and also to produce new ones.

These photos were taken around Europe during my summer backpacking adventure, and Urbis was an opportunity for me to combine my varied passions – graphic design, photography, travel, minimalism – into one simple project. It is an expression of how digitized aesthetics are a part of our daily experiences; how the unremarkable sights, people, and scenes that you see every day are formed by a remarkable mixture of capering tones, a few well-placed lines, a brilliant palette of colors.

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