Art & Design

Ferrari Red Pantone

Ferrari Red Pantone

The Story

When designing these prints I could use any colour as long as it looked right. But it’s more than that, it’s about telling stories. It’s also trying to connect dots even if they won’t necessarily be noticed. So I decided to do a little research on why Ferrari is red in the first place. I also wanted to know what is the nearest pantone colour is so I could match it closely in my prints. So first, I headed over to wikipedia. And with some careful searching, I found out:

Since the 1920s, Italian race cars of Alfa Romeo, Maserati and later Ferrari and Abarth were (and often still are) painted in “race red” (Rosso Corsa). This was the customary national racing colour of Italy, as recommended between the World Wars by the organizations that later would become the FIA. It refers to the nationality of the competing team, not that of the car manufacturer or driver. In that scheme, French-entered cars such as Bugatti were blue, German such as Benz and Mercedes white (since 1934 also bare sheet metal silver), and British green such as the mid-1960s Lotus and BRM, for instance.


It was fascinating to find out that the colour was different for each country. How many other design aspect were shaped so significantly by culture? 

The Specifications

Now that I had the background of the colour, I needed to find out the exact pantone colour. This way, I could use it in my prints. What is a pantone colour I hear you ask? Well the simple answer is

“a system for matching colours, used in specifying printing ink”.

After some more searching I found that alot of other people have wondered this exact same question over the years and the general consensus is that its Pantone 185. If you log onto the pantone website there is a button where you can enter any pantone number and it will show you the colour. Its a match! Now all I have to do is convert this to CMYK so it can be used digitally. These are the final values I would use C:0 M:91 Y:76 K:0

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