Pantone 453

Pantone 453, Color of Apple IINo, this is not a post about a post-apolyptic world in which all books are burned (like Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451), nor is it about a world in which everything is beige (which almost happened with computers in the 1990s, until Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997). It is about a great article on the web site for Seven Days, “Vermont’s Independent Voice”, from Burlington. It was cited in an article today on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) here. The article “here” is about Jerry Manock, who was hired by Apple in the early days to design the case for the Apple II computer. The exact beige color picked, which I’ve never had a name for, was #453 on the color list for Pantone‘s standard list of colors used in industry for standardization in products and paints. In terms of web colors, it appears to be #D5D5B4.

The article is an interesting read, as it gives some insight to one of the most important origins of the Apple II and its success: The case. Although it was Steve Jobs who approved the design and color of the case, it was Manock who created it (to fit Wozniak’s motherboard), included the ventilation slots (that were missing on some of the earliest cases that were shipped out). Manock is also credited with design on the appearance of the venerable Disk II.

Manock later was on the team that was involved in the design of the Apple III and the Macintosh.

If you want to know whether or not your Apple II is still the right color, use this check it out!

4 Comments on “Pantone 453

  1. Hi, fascinating article, thanks for bringing it to our attention. I do have to wonder something about Manock’s statement , which is to say, that he may have mispoken. Please check out this thread which references the Apple II beige being a non-Pantone (PMS) color.

    Also, please check out this thread which references’s Kunkle’s Apple Design, this tells the story of picking the color for the Macintosh – which if placed side-by-side to an Apple II, there is a distinct color difference.

    I also find Apple’s own reference to the Platinum color interesting as well:

  2. Thanks for the comments. There are a couple of possible explanations for this. One is that Manock mis-remembered this information, although that is pretty specific to be wrong on. The other possibility is that Jobs decided that the shade of beige that was selected was not QUITE what he wanted, and he selected something different, and changed it from Pantone 453 to this other color.

    Or, considering the second article that you link to, Manock is remembering the color of the original Macintosh, which is not quite the same as the color of the Apple II.

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