I could eat them up
Pantone has been a household name for agencies ever since Lawrence Hebert founded the standardized color powerhouse in 1963, but the name has taken on new meaning for our creative team as we designed the new Mottis brand.
Our orange, Pantone Orange 021, is unforgettable, revolutionary, lively and bold. It sets us apart, most noticeably from Kelly MarCom’s former complementary, signature blue and black hues. Those just didn’t reflect our company anymore. Orange, gray and white, however, are a bright, exciting trio of colors that better represent our culture, agency personality and, ultimately, our brand.
As we drew closer to launching the Mottis reveal, the Pantone Color Institute made headlines by announcing its annual Color of the Year. Tangerine Tango would be the swatch to define 2012. Pantone described its orange tone with words like spirited, energetic, radiant, vivacious and friendly. Our values at Mottis aren’t too different.
And neither is our color. Even though Pantone’s pick has a smidgen more purple than ours, the tones are very, very close in hue. The fact that we selected our orange before Pantone’s announcement is a reminder that us Mottisians are modern, cultivated and trendsetting.
The design of Pantone chips — a colored block with the number in black-on-white type underneath — has become an iconic, recognizable form in the design community. In fact, everything that’s in Pantone’s accessory line, Pantone Universe, is a nerdy designer’s dream. I’m not even going to pretend that I’m not a sucker for all things Pantone, especially the notebooks and iPhone cases. In fact, I secretly think my morning coffee would taste better in one of those painted ceramic mugs. I’d probably even settle for the cuff links if I owned any garments that required them. There are tons of other products out there that exhibit Pantone’s characteristic design, ranging from the handmade items for sale on Etsy, like these felt coasters and magnets, to Chronicle Books’ set of 100 postcards (which I would probably send if I knew 100 people who would appreciate them as much as I do).
So that’s why when I saw these Pantone cookies and fruit tarts popping up on my favorite blogs, I knew Mottis had to have something equally as trendy and tantalizing. I love making homemade sweet treats, so I didn’t mind whipping up eight dozen batches of the cookies for our CEO Shelley Kelly to take with her when she revealed the rebrand to our clients — who, by the way, thought they were a creative addition to her presentation.
Mottis Pantone Chip Cookies (Yields about 50)
Ingredients and materials:
- 3 packages shortbread cookies
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 1 lb. confectioner’s sugar, plus extra for thickening the icing
- 6 tsps warm water
- Icing food coloring
- Food coloring pen
- Piping bag and tip (Round No. 3)
- Parchment paper
- Buy or make rectangular shortbread cookies. I used Pepperidge Farm’s Chessmen cookies. Buy one more package than you think you’ll need, as each package will likely have a few broken cookies, but those make for nice test drives and snacks. You could also bake your own rectangular shortbread cookies if you’re not on a deadline like I was.
- Make the icing. I used Wilton’s recipe for Royal Icing which makes about 3 cups. Add more powdered sugar if the icing is too runny.
- Fill a piping bag with the white icing, then outline a rectangle onto the bottom third of each cookie and fill it in. Use a spatula to spread the icing if needed. Place cookies on a cooling rack lined with parchment paper or a flat surface to dry.
- Separate what’s left of the icing into bowls and dye it your desired color(s). I used four colors to mix our Pantone swatch, but you might need more or less. (Note: Wilton has a good tutorial for dyeing icing. Cover any icing you’re not using. You may need to add a little water if it thickens. Do note that the icing will harden a slightly darker color than the wet, raw icing.
- Once the white icing has dried, pipe the colored icing into a rectangle covering the remaining two-thirds of the cookie. Try to keep corners as square as possible. Place on cooling rack lined with parchment paper on a flat surface and let dry.
- Wait a few hours (or overnight) for the icing to harden, then use a food color marker to add the writing. Be careful not to squish the icing.
- Use parchment paper to separate rows of cookies in an airtight container. You can refrigerate them for up to a month. When you remove them from the fridge, be sure to let the container fully return to room temperature or your cookies will sweat and possibly bleed.