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Pantone and Academy of Art University Announce 2012 Award Winners for Color in Action Project

Team Bullying Awarded for Exceptional Work
Exploring Positive Social Change through Color

CARLSTADT, N.J. and SAN FRANCISCO, May 24, 2012 – Pantone LLC, an X-Rite company and the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, and the Academy of Art University, one of the top graphic design schools in the country, today announced the winners of Color in Action, a unique project designed to explore the positive influence of color on social change.

The judges selected Team Bullying as the winner of the Color in Action project. Team Bullying posed the question, "How Does Color Affect a Developing Brain and Can We Use it to Lower Aggression and Teach Tolerance?" Studies have shown that one’s physical environment directly impacts behavior, and certain colors are linked to increases in brain development, visual processing and lowered stress. With today’s alarming rates of bullying-related violence and suicides, Team Bullying set out to see if color could be a force for positive change. The team’s goal was to use color as a tool for enhancing the school environment, building community and embracing diversity. For more information and to see the winning project, please go to

The panel of judges, made up of Pantone representatives, color enthusiasts and industry experts, announced the winning project at the Academy of Art University’s 2012 Annual Spring Show in San Francisco last night. Winners were recognized based on creativity and use of color related to hard-hitting topics that were chosen by the teams to reflect personal passions and interests.

"Color in Action is undoubtedly a remarkable project that challenges students to not only look at today’s pressing social issues but to also inspire change through creativity and color," said Giovanni Marra, director of corporate marketing at Pantone. "It was an honor to participate in this project and see, first-hand, the passionate and creative work coming from tomorrow’s talented youth."

"I am proud of the in-depth research and how well each team incorporated color to bring recognition to their social action campaigns in a very short timeframe," said Academy of Art instructor and design professional Tom Sieu. "It is important for young graphic designers to not just create beautiful things, but to also think about the social conditions that shape them. Pantone has given these students a hands-on, real-world learning opportunity that will undoubtedly have an impact on how they will approach projects as graphic designers in the future."

"As design students, our job is to come up with creative solutions to problems and get great work into our portfolios, but Color in Action allowed us to apply our skills toward something bigger than ourselves," said student Elizabeth West from Team Bullying. "I think that each team's work proves that graphic designers are more than capable of helping solve for social change, and that color can be a powerful tool. We are grateful to have been part of this, and hope that other young designers can be given similar opportunities."

The two other finalists considered for the honor were Team Nation and Team Sense. Team Nation’s project posed the question, "How Can Color Define a Nation and its People?" The project looked at how human beings typically segregate themselves in their own territory due to geography, politics and poor education. The team focused on using color in a way that showed more commonalities rather than differences between nations. Team Sense’s project posed the question, "Imagine If You Lost Your Eyesight Tomorrow, How Would You Experience Color?" The project focused on the challenges that the visually impaired face on a daily basis. The team set out to create a project that gave the visually impaired the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of color for themselves. For more information and to see the two finalists’ projects, please go to

The Color in Action project gathered eight student teams and challenged them to explore pressing social issues including education, tolerance and the environment. Pantone donated its defacto standard for color communication in the graphic arts market, PANTONE® PLUS SERIES, and PANTONE FASHION + HOME guides to be used for the project and rewarded the winning team with a $10,000 scholarship to help pay for tuition.

The student teams were led by instructors Tom Sieu and John Barretto, both working design professionals. Sieu, who initiated this project and leads the undergraduates, has been teaching at the Academy of Art University for eight years and is also the founder of, a collaborative effort to promote sustainable design. Barretto leads the graduate students involved in the project. Classroom lectures are augmented by talks and feedback from Pantone representatives including Giovanni Marra.

To view all Color in Action projects and for more information, visit Color Coalition, the Color in Action Tumblr or the class Facebook page.

About Academy of Art
Academy of Art University, the largest private university of art and design in the United States, is educating students for the art and design jobs of the 21st Century. Established in 1929, the Academy is an output-based higher education model that provides open admissions to all students, but imposes a rigorous curriculum that requires the students to produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates a mastery of their field in order to graduate. Students are taught by a faculty of professionals from the existing marketplace, which provides them with an understanding of what it takes to succeed in today’s business environment. The Academy’s hands-on curriculum produces graduates that possess great artistic and design skills – and equally as important, the ability to put those talents to work immediately after graduation. As a result, Academy graduates are ready to compete for and win the jobs of the 21st Century in the fields of Acting, Advertising, Animation & Visual Effects, Architecture, Art Education, Fashion, Fine Art, Game Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture & Design, Landscape Architecture, Motion Pictures & Television, Multimedia Communications, Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media, Photography and Web Design & New Media. Academy of Art University is accredited by WASC, NASAD, Council for Interior Design Accreditation (Formerly FIDER), (BFA-IAD), and NAAB (M-ARCH). Visit for more information.

About Pantone
Pantone LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Incorporated, has been the world’s color authority for nearly 50 years, providing design professionals with products and services for the colorful exploration and expression of creativity. Always a source for color inspiration, Pantone also offers paint and designer-inspired products and services for consumers. More information is available at

About X-Rite
X-Rite, Incorporated, is the global leader in color science and technology. The company, which now includes color industry leader Pantone, develops, manufactures, markets and supports innovative color solutions through measurement systems, software, color standards and services. X-Rite’s expertise in inspiring, selecting, measuring, formulating, communicating and matching color helps users get color right the first time and every time, which translates to better quality and reduced costs. X-Rite serves a range of industries, including printing, packaging, photography, graphic design, video, automotive, paints, plastics, textiles, dental and medical. For further information, please visit

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