Down the Mall: Paper purple patch ahead of its time

BACK TO THE FUTURE: Two decades ago, the Advertiser chose Pantone Purple as its signature shade, one which has been declared the 'colour of 2018'.
BACK TO THE FUTURE: Two decades ago, the Advertiser chose Pantone Purple as its signature shade, one which has been declared the 'colour of 2018'.

It is amazing what some people are paid to study. This week’s amazement came from The Addy’s own Life and Style section which announced that Pantone Purple was trending as the “colour of 2018”.

Yes. That appears to be a thing – and may we also tips our hat to the sub-editor who came up with the headline saying that in this year “purple reigns”.

It should come as little surprise that the Addy has been well ahead of this “trending”, or whatever young people say when they mean “ahead of its time.”

Back in the late 1980s and early 90s, the Bendigo Advertiser ditched its advertising signage and marketing colour and adopted a new one: Pantone Purple appeared on shop fronts and news stands all over. It even had a purple cartoon dog as its mascot.

Pantone is a US-based colour matching system (officially P.M.S.) widely used in the media.

We’d be fibbing if we claimed this was a rampant success.

“They’ve gone and picked a colour used by a hair products company,” some muttered darkly. But that was Pantene, not Pantone.

It was only a short time before the Addy ditched purple and went back to being black, white and red all over. Sorry.

Pantone says the colour “suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”

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Bendigo has a strong historical link to purple.

Just over 100 years ago, we were home to the Purple Cross foundation, trying to raise money for the humane treatment of war horses during their transportation to the battlefields of World War I.

Bendigo’s social set walked the streets for days with a little pit pony named Kiss Lass, trying to raise the equivalent of the pony’s weight in donations.

They raised £19 in Bendigo on just one day in June 1915 and £40 overall, which was considered about right.

It must have been in single pennies.