A Colorful Metaverse
COLOR IN THE METAVERSE – EXPLORING THE RELATIONSHIP OF COLOR BETWEEN VIRTUAL AND REALITY
The boundaries between the physical and digital world are blurring as we are embracing the fluidity between reality and fantasy. Pantone’s color expertise combined with sLABS’ thought leadership on blockchain technology will demonstrate how brands can integrate their identity into the metaverse to create a holistic experience that will bridge these two disparate environments. Color is integral to a brand’s identity. Typically demonstrated through a logo and design system, color enables brands to create a distinct identity, one which can be leveraged (without limits) in the Metaverse. SLABS is taking a unique approach by leveraging chip technology in a wearable (hoodie) that ties to the blockchain and is innovating how retail can incorporate offline with Web 3.0 in the Metaverse.
A VISUAL LANGUAGE
For many of us, it is virtually impossible to imagine what it would be like to live in a world without color, one where we could only see black and white and shades of gray as color surrounds us and is the visual cue that defines our world, drawing us in to feel a connection with our environment and the things we love. With about 80% of human experience filtered through the eyes, visual cues are vital to getting a message across.
Color influences us both physiologically and psychologically, coming together synergistically with all the senses to affect our behavior and evoke a reaction. Each color conveys its own unique message and meaning. While we do have immediate reactions to color, up to 95% of our responses are dictated by our subconscious.
COLOR IN THE METAVERSE
Color defines our world; both the physical and digital. As Metaverse and Web 3.0 gain traction in a post COVID world, many consumers are merging their physical and digital lives. Brands are seeing the trend and the metaverse has become the tech industry’s latest fascination. Many of them are betting on it and moving quickly to plant their flag in the theoretical metaverse. In 2021, Meta (formerly Facebook) invested $10 billion in the metaverse.1 In Jan 2022, Microsoft purchased gaming giant Activision Blizzard for $70 billion, reportedly as a metaverse building block even though the company doesn’t have any virtual reality games. Google and Apple continue to develop their own metaverse-related technologies.
On a conceptual level, the metaverse will be the next generation of the internet that will allow individuals to seamlessly merge their digital and physical lives. It will be a mix of AR / VR immerse experiences layered on our physical world.
Color will be used similarly to the way it is used in the physical world, with one caveat: In the physical world, color has limitations. Objects are naturally one color unless altered, which takes resources, time, and energy. Additionally, there are some colors in the digital spectrum that are not reproducible in the physical world. In the metaverse, color will be instantly customizable.
There are no limitations. From the color of your physical appearance to the outfits you wear or the products you own in web 3.0 – they can all be changed depending on your mood and how you want to be represented in the digital world, no matter how they present in the physical world. The metaverse will offer freedom.
In the metaverse, just as in the physical world, representation will matter. Color is powerful. It has been used to bring us together as well as divide us.
Pantone and sLABS understand this paradigm and believe that everyone should have the tools to create their digital presence so that they can be seen exactly as they are or who they want to be. In the metaverse, brands and consumers alike will use color to make an impression and communicate a message about themselves. Everyone will have a customizable version of themselves. Rightly so, sLABS has incorporated Pantone’s SkinTone™ guide and color systems into their metaverse ecosystem, giving the future inhabitants of the metaverse endless possibilities.
The interoperability of color will be an ongoing challenge in merging the digital and physical worlds. The appearance of color will vary depending upon the material or surface to which it is applied. Materials and their specific qualities challenge the realization of color as well as the standardization of this same color across different substrates. Changing the finish adds another layer of complexity as does the digital environment where the gamut of color is dissimilar to what can be achieved in the physical world. Flexibility is key as colors may need to be tweaked to appear consistent and bridge these two disparate environments. Pantone’s different color system offerings offer designers the ability to move their designs fluidly between the physical and digital worlds.
PARTNERSHIP WITH SLABS: THE SLABS COLOR PALETTE
The relationship between Pantone and sLABS represents the intersection between color in the physical and digital environments. With language and intentionality top of mind, the collaboration between these two industry innovators bridges the virtual and the physical by connecting the collection of colors sLABS has chosen to express their digital and physical identity with the emotions they inspire. LNQ is the first project launched from the sLABS ecosystem. It is a pioneering, state-of-the-art, blockchain-enabled hardware platform sLABS refers to as “The Wearable Internet”.
The inspiration behind sLABS’ first color collection was nature and biomimicry. Centered around the concept of connectivity, the goal was to curate a selection of colors that could serve as physical touchpoints in a virtual world; colors that could live comfortably in a commercial fashion environment, while still retaining a curated element and approach. Finding colors whose universal appeal could work and blur across gender norms and rules was critical, as was the desire for these colors to display a timeless and ageless quality.
Inspired by the natural world, the sLABS color palette is non-conforming by design. It is a grouping of hues whose experimental approach leads us into a new frontier. Comprised of a cosmic blue, playful pink coral, faded lilac, grounding burnt orange, dramatic charcoal black, and a quiet creamy beige. It is a palette of color whose expressions of optimism, comfort, and confidence create a strong foundation as we look to the future.
PANTONE 2728 C is a vivid blue whose brilliant luminosity casts a gleaming light. Highlighting sLABS’ commitment to tech innovation, it is an orbital blue hue whose cosmic presence conveys a message of something new, a place that has not yet been carved out or discovered. A galactic shade conjuring up a space without limits and the infinite possibilities that lay before us waiting to be explored. Youthful and fresh, an ultra-charged spectrum blue with electrifying intensity.
PANTONE 2107 C embraces inclusivity with a magical edge. Imbued with a retro ambiance, the color is a muted pastel lavender, light in weight, and is an emotional and poetic reminder of a simpler past. Appearing tainted by time and gracefully aged, it is a dusky purple tone tinged with a hint of mystery and originality.
PANTONE 709 C is vibrant pink-infused coral – a life force. Joyful and festive, it is a free-spirited and playful shade that energizes and uplifts. Passionate and ebullient, it is a bold attention-getting color whose upbeat attitude and confident presence send a message of positivity.
PANTONE 17-1449 Pureed Pumpkin is a sensual russet orange whose naturalness speaks to our desire for colors imbued with the energy that can only come from our physical environment. Vegetal in spirit, it is a nature-inspired shade redolent of the earth that appears to emanate directly from the great outdoors. Designed for touch, this hue exudes an autumnal feeling, whose sensorial richness and soulful personality warms and welcomes.
PANTONE 19-4104 Ebony is powerful and empowering; It is a strong and impenetrable blackened charcoal shade that is a force to be reckoned with. The quintessential essence of cool – a dramatic black hue exuding style and confidence. Associated with interstellar space, it is a futuristic black hue speaking to our aspiration to explore areas of uncharted territory and the galaxies lying beyond earth.
PANTONE 13-0400 French Oak is a human and humane creamy beige displaying a palpable tactility and softness that comforts and nurtures. Non-assuming and understated, it is a calming hue sitting quietly in the background. Stylish yet simplistic, it is a shade whose undyed natural appearance expresses our choices for longevity and sustainability with authenticity.
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1 Issac, Michael. “Meta spent $10 billion on the metaverse in 2021, dragging down profit.” The New York Times, 2 February 2022, http://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/02/technology/meta-facebook-earnings-metaverse.html. Accessed 1 May 2022.