Just Rankin’ Sh!t

The 6 Worst-Named Pantone Colors, Ranked

Stop being cute and just describe the damn thing!

LEVEL Editors
Published in
2 min readJun 29, 2021


Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Getty Images

6. Exuberance

For any general color you can think of, there are dozens of Pantone varieties. Take orange: There’s Orangeade, Jaffa Orange, Apricot, Orange.com (whatever the hell that means), Tangelo, D’angelo (okay, not that one), and the list goes on. Most of them at least sound orange. And then there’s… exuberance. We’re all for poetic license, but can anyone explain this one to us?

5. Urban Red

If we were being generous here, we’d say, “Clearly, Pantone was trying to evoke the deep-red hue of the bricks from which so many cities’ apartment buildings are built.” But we’re not that generous because we know exactly what companies mean when they say “urban.” And that’s a dried bloodstain kinda red right there. With thousands of shades in their catalog, this might be the shadiest name of all.

4. American Beauty

Given that it’s basically indistinguishable from urban red, we have no idea why this one got named after an Oscar-winning film about a suburban creep’s midlife crisis. Oh, wait. Of course we do. (Also, that movie did not age well.)

3. Jazzy