This past week, Spark Corps designers collaborated with the New York design collective Grouphug. These designers are collective focused on bridging passionate designers a discussing socially provocative ideas through art, media and design. They only encourage collaboration between designers, but with the public as well.
Each year, Grouphug hosts a show focused on specific topic during New York Design Week. This year, the show was called “Judge Me” and designers were asked to deign around the topic of prejudice. Group hug, “challenged designers to choose a form of discrimination they personally experience and address the bias.”
The show featured 15 creations by a collective of designers from across the country. The exhibited work ranged from market-ready products to futuristic product concepts. In addition to Spark Corps design, work ranged from a board game battling sexism in the workplace, to “nude” bandages that match every skin color.
In sectors of design, the name “PANTONE” is synonymous with color. PANTONE guides trends in design, and helps provide color resources to those on the forefront of design. One tool critical to this is the PANTONE color matching system (CMS) formula guide. These books of official PANTONE color chips help designers choose the most accurate colors and show how colors will appear in everything from digital, to print, to physical outputs.
At Spark Corps, we wondered, “what if there was a CMS formula guide that represented the characteristics that made up a person?” What would the alpha numeric code for compassion look like? How about leadership? Or acceptance? For our Judge Me submission, we created a Humantone formula guide that aimed to investigate the qualities and traits that make up the human experience and the characteristics we search for in those that inspire us, include us, and defer judgement.
The design resulted in a 25 page swatch book mimicking the looks and feel of a PANTONE guide. However, rather than actual skin tones, each of the 110 swatches would consist of colors, textures, and imagery representing a positive human characteristic. Spark Corps hopes that SKINTONES will help engage users in a dialogue about the human qualities that are more than skin deep, and how we can build on the positive traits that make up our friends, families, neighbors and strangers.