I was talking to a book publicist who told me that her company’s sales force often gets purchasing requests from major lifestyle/home furnishing chain stores (think Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters) for books whose covers match certain Pantone colors, which the store’s designers can use to both decorate the store—and sell to customers.
Pantone colors are the world’s color-matching system. It’s what everyone in the design field uses to make sure they’re all talking about the same color.
So if you’re decorating a store with festive umbrellas and overpriced picnic gear for the summer season, you might want to be selling books about festive drinks or barbecuing tips or lawn care whose covers match the damned umbrellas.
No one reads this way, of course: “Hon, can you bring out some lemonade and a book that matches the throw pillow on the lawn furniture? No, the throw pillow. I read something the color of the ice bucket last weekend.”
But it sure makes stores look pretty.