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Pantone and Academy of Art University Announce Scholarship and Partnership for Social Change

“Color in Action” project teams up students to create positive change by combining design and color through the lens of object and space

CARLSTADT, N.J. and SAN FRANCISCO, March 27, 2012 – Pantone LLC, an X-Rite company (NASDAQ: XRIT) and the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, and Academy of Art University, one of the top graphic design schools in the country, today announced a partnership and scholarship in support of “Color in Action,” a unique project designed to explore the positive influence of color on social change.

Eight student teams were formed to explore pressing social issues including education, tolerance and the environment. Pantone donated its worldwide color standard PANTONE® PLUS SERIES and PANTONE FASHION + HOME guides to be used for the project and will award the winning team a $10,000 scholarship. The scholarship will help students pay for tuition and will be awarded on May 14.

“Graphic designers are often called upon for logos and package designs, but have so much more to offer,” commented Academy of Art instructor and design professional Tom Sieu. “Today, we’re teaching students that it’s not enough to create just beautiful things. We want them to also think about how to create the conditions and experiences that shape them.”

“Design has the power to effect change on a larger scale. The class has already done some interesting work through the recent GOOD Ideas for Cities Project and Design Ignites Change,” said Giovanni Marra, director of corporate marketing at Pantone. “This inspired our partnership and desire to explore how young designers would pair color with community and culture, and how the communicative power of color can be used as a vehicle to create social change.”

The topics chosen by the students reflect their personal passions and interests. Students have set out to answer questions such as:

  • How can the use of color be used to lower aggression and teach tolerance in schools?
  • How can color be a positive force to define a nation and its people?
  • How can color enhance the lives of people who are visually impaired?
  • How can color help strengthen and promote the concept of fair trade?
  • How can the use of color prevent the extinction of rare species?

“Why do kids hurt other kids?” asked student Elizabeth West, a member of the Color in Action discrimination team. “This question led to our own experiences growing up and to the alarming rates of bullying-related violence and suicides taking place today. We want to use color as a tool to teach tolerance, encourage individuality and strengthen community among children.”

The student teams are 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 Marra.

To view Color in Action, visit 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
(NASDAQ: XRIT) X-Rite is the global leader in color science and technology. The company, which now includes color industry leader Pantone, develops, manufacturers, 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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