News / Graphic Design

World’s “ugliest” Pantone colour 448C is being used to deter smokers


Pantone 448C

Deemed the world’s ugliest colour, Pantone 448C opaque couché is now being used on cigarette packaging to deter smokers.

The initiative began in 2012, when the Australian government commissioned research agency GfK Bluemoon to develop ideas for the most unappealing packaging design possible, with the aim to reduce demand.

Over 1,000 smokers took part in seven studies to choose the most unappealing colour, which resulted in Pantone 448C — named opaque couché — being chosen for its association with dirt and tar. It was then applied uniformly to all cigarette packaging, along with health warnings and photos depicting the effects of smoking, while the logos were removed altogether.

Now the same approach to cigarette packaging design is being undertaken in the UK, Ireland and France, making use of the same Pantone. It will be required for brand names to be written in a standard font, size and position on the pack.

Uk-cigarette-packaging-pantone-448c standardised pack design mock up