Pre-Arrival Nerves

Final weeks at Pantone

If only time went by this fast when I’m actually at school. Ryerson's semesters are only about 3 months long (not including exams) and their “reading break” already happened, while I still have yet to start my semester. Christmas still feels like it was yesterday but somehow it’s already been over 2 months. Anyway, I’m just reinstating a fact that everyone knows; time always moves too fast when least desired.

That being said, my internship at Pantone ended on Tuesday. It was only a few days each week over the past 6 weeks but in that short time, I gained an invaluable wealth of knowledge that I’m very thankful for. I was able to apply the skills I’ve learned at Ryesrson, as well as use some of the same software and tools that are being taught this semester. Since my last post, I continued the measurements for the Digital Drawdown process and compiled a final report of the data I collected, which I hope will be helpful for the lab to see which direction to move in now.

During my last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to learn more about other departments at Pantone beyond the Advanced Color Technology Lab. I went on a tour with Carmine, the Technical Director of the print department, who showed me the entire printing department, textile department, and ink formulation lab. I’ve been on a few tours of printing plants that were all impressive in their own ways, but none of them can say they have a printing press with an ink fountain that holds 28 different inks and 34 different channels. The ink fountain was made specially to print Pantone’s variety of swatch books and formula guides. The ink formulation lab was something I’ve never seen before and probably will never see anything like it again.

I learned about how companies license their colors with companies and how Pantone makes a specific color for each. Sometimes the company is a singular person, like Jay-Z, who sent in a piece of his motorcycle for Pantone to match. The motorcycle is blue, so naturally the color was named “Jay-Z Blue.” And Tiffany Blue is not the licensed name for Tiffany blue. It’s actually named 1837 Blue because that’s the year the company was founded. If sending in a piece of a motorcycle sounded ridiculous, the owner of Maui Gin (who lives in Hawaii), sent in a feather for Pantone to match. This feather was various shades of blue in an ombré pattern, so you could imagine how hard that must have been.


I also met with the Director of Sales for textiles and he gave me another, even more detailed tour of the textile department. It was amazing to learn about all the work that goes into making 1 small cotton swatch card. Lastly, I also met with the Product Development Manager in the marketing department who explained how Pantone’s marketing works and the campaigns that we’ll be seeing next month. She said the color of the year has been great exposure for them and this was the first year that all the marketing was digital. No more direct mail or brochures! #RIPprint

I’m happy that I was able to explore New York more than usual in my last few weeks. Luke and I went to a Nets game, the Met, the Cloisters, and the high line. It’s easy to forget about how much there is to do and see in New York when you live there.

The Cloisters

The Cloisters

In Flight

I’m now above Halifax on my way to Germany!  Everything at JFK was strangely painless, like somehow both of my suitcases were not overweight. When I came home from Toronto at Christmas, one of my suitcases weighed 52lbs and the other weighed 72lbs. The lady checking my bags actually yelled at me and asked why they were so heavy. That was a $75 fee but that pales in comparison to the $200 fee Air Berlin charged for checking a second bag. Other than that, security went really fast and I didn’t forget to take any liquids out of my carryon, surprisingly. This flight gets into Düsseldorf at 6:50am and then I connect to my final flight to Stuttgart. I don’t really think it’s hit me yet that I’m going to live in another country for 5 months but I’m sure it will tomorrow. The only way it's hit me is that most people on this flight are speaking German and I’m like wat ? Duolingo has only done so much. 

My pre-arrival feelings right now are a mixture of very excited, kind of nervous, and sad because I love New York and the people there, but I’ll be back. I’m probably most nervous about the language but I guess taking German classes while I’m there should help. Nerves are too exhausting and inexcusable since I’ve had almost 3 months to feel those feels. I’m very thankful to have lived in New York with Luke since mid-December and to have the opportunity to study in Germany until the end of July!  Here goes nothing

Michaela Fraser