Who can possibly claim that they don’t see the that special blue/green color (HEX #81D8D0/R129 G216 B208/Pantone 1837, btw) and instantly know that it’s Tiffany Blue. Or relate the Tiffany brand with sophisticated, spendy elegance? That little blue box is a loaded image, indeed. Even most men know the signifcance.
The color itself was trademarked in 1837 when the company, itself was established. And you won’t find it’s exact match on any Pantone chips because it’s limited use to Tiffany themselves. But who could blame them? Though I doubt Tiffany & Co. were the first to trademark a color, they certainly are the most distinctive and longest lasting I know of. The color was used for Tiffany & Co. boxes, catalogues, shopping bags, brochures and for advertising and other promotional materials and became widely recognized as a symbol of craftsmanship and quality.
I, myself, am a sucker for the robin’s egg blue/green shade of Tiffany blue. I can’t quite figure whether it’s because of the cultural significance or the lovely shade itself (most likely both), but I’ve kept the three boxes I’ve received in my lifetime (all three from my besties!) and I’ll probably never throw them out.
I find it fascinating that color and other ‘touches’ can be so closely associated with a brand. There is the 2008 trademark of red soles of Louboutin, which has been under fire lately.
Other companies of note who have trademarked their colors: Pepsi (blue), Starbucks (green), Coke (red) and T-Mobile (magenta). These are colors that, when we see them, the brand instantly comes to mind. So, of course, it makes sense that certain shades could be trademarks as trademarks themselves serve to protect the consumer from brand confusion. If an unsuspecting man wishing to impress his lady love was to buy a ‘blue box’ from another jeweler thinking that it represented Tiffany-like quality, but didn’t get the same quality, this would be bad.
When a color is not only associated with a brand, but a standard of quality, it is critically important to protect the consumer from being misled.
Speaking of quality, I’m very much loving the rise of Rose Gold (or as Tiffany & Co. has trademarked it as: Rubedo). I’m hot on this metal in general, but fell deeper in love when I heard how Tiffany & Co. described it:
“Light plays over the generous surfaces like the blush of early morning across the sky.”
They make everything sound lovely and delicious, don’t they? At a mere $7,500, that amazing 175th anniversary cuff can be yours, but EVEN BETTER, you’re going to get an extra big box with that baby.
[bonus: check out Tiffany & Co's history told in a press kit. PDF]