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EXCLUSIVE: Assouline Marks 30th Anniversary With Signature Pantone Color

PAINT THE TOWN RED: To mark its 30th anniversary, Assouline has teamed up with Pantone to create its now-signature red.

For Alexandre Assouline, chief of operations, brand and strategy of the family-owned publishing brand, this was a natural continuation for the company as a purveyor of coffee table tomes.

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“We work with Pantone every day,” he said. “Every cover that we design, every object that we review, the whole creativity of [our] team starts with opening a Pantone book.”

In a nutshell, this full-bodied warm red with a hint of yellow is meant to embody the boldness and imagination at the heart of Assouline

According to creative director Prosper Assouline, who founded the brand in 1994 with his spouse Martine Assouline, this signature hue “stimulates the imagination, representing beauty and energy, while heightening our senses to the art and wisdom of knowledge.”

Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, described Assouline’s signature color as “a vibrant and vigorous red tone that breaks boundaries, inspiring a gloriously captivating feeling that ignites our consciousness and redefines our experience of red” and “emblematic of [Assouline’s] sensorial richness.”

Although only formalized with the Pantone partnership, the hue “transcribed into the brand because it emanates from the family,” said Alexandre Assouline, who is also the founders’ son, sharing how the shade links to memories of pastels from famed Parisian art supply shop Sennelier used for annotating works, a lacquered vase in the family home and even a childhood teddy bear.

Previously distilled in discreet touches, it will become a major touch point for the brand, which has already used it as marker of its retail spaces, used on the indoor walls of its own stores and delimiting areas within partners’ addresses, along with brass lettering.

The Assouline red will make its debut in marketing campaigns but also through in-store activations such as roses wrapped in paper printed with the new Pantone card. Launching on Valentine’s Day was also a way to allude to the brand’s enduring love affair with culture.

And that won’t be the last of it, as Assouline intends to grow from a publisher to a lifestyle brand.

A first step in that direction will be the launch of limited-edition objects. These will lean heavily toward library accessories, to stay within its territory — naturally.

And if deeming a 30-year-old company, particularly in publishing, as heritage sounds forward, Alexandre Assouline found it a fitting way to express that “our business is to celebrate heritage — of other brands, themes, interesting people,” he said. “We are showing that publishing is here to stay and we have a clear path for the 30 years ahead of us.”

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