No small feat: Tiny objects find their perfect Pantone color match

Near the end of spring last year, graphic designer Inka Mathew became captivated by a beautiful Veronica Georgia Blue flower. 

"The design geek in me got curious, and I picked a bloom and brought it inside," Mathew, 41, told "I flipped through my Pantone swatch book and found a color match for it."

Because of her background in print design, Mathew has been using the Pantone Matching System (PMS) for years. And because she's always surrounded by swatch books, it didn't take long for her to launch a project she dubbed "Tiny PMS Match" after that first encounter with that stunning little blossom.

"I placed the flower on the color chip and took a photo of it using my iPhone with my dot-grid notebook as the background. I posted it on my Instagram account," said Mathew, who lives in Houston with her husband and their 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. "I was pleasantly surprised by my followers' reactions and decided to continue doing it using other little objects I found around me."

"I took pictures of objects that piqued my interest or had special meaning to me," she continued. "I want to visually record these tiny objects that are currently in my life."

After months of matching seemingly random items to swatches on a dot-grid notebook, she moved everything to an Instagram account that is dedicated to the project.

"When you look at things in nature up close, you'll be amazed by the design and details in them, including colors," she said. "It helps me appreciate the little things in life."

Even though the items appear to be chosen erratically, they are included in the project because they either captured Mathew's attention or held such a special meaning that she wanted to remember them. 

"I plan to keep on doing this for as long as I can," she said. "I'm curious to see what will be the little objects in my life when my kids are grown up, go to college and later have their own children. It will be interesting to find out." 

True hues: Designer finds precise color matches for everyday objects

In a whimsical photography project, graphic designer Inka Mathew matches small, random items with Pantone color swatches.


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