Phagomania: Pantone Smoothies

Stop asking what your smoothie does for your insides and start thinking, 'Does this smoothie go with my look?', as we get the lowdown on the meticulously colour-matched Pantone Smoothies project.

Feature by Lewis MacDonald | 10 Feb 2016

We know that since the turn of the year you’ve had to listen to nothing but health advice, flirtations with veganism, lectures on the merits of 'eating clean', bamboozlement by detoxing and supercilious superfoods. Maybe you have already lost faith with the multitude of goodness that your blender was supposed to unlock for you. But maybe we’ve been looking at this whole smoothie thing the wrong way all along?

Well, don't consign the blender to the back of the cupboard just yet – and welcome your smoothie to Pantone, the favoured colour-matching system of the design world. Pantone Smoothies is the brainchild of Hedvig Astrom Kushner, a Swedish-born art director now based in New York. The project started out as a creative curiosity and flourished into a simple, bold and stylish execution that has made the rounds on the internet.

“I was curious to see if it was possible to create tasty smoothies in any colour, blending only natural ingredients,” explains Hedvig. “I also make a lot of smoothies at home, and somehow I got interested in the colour of the smoothies. I could be preparing a beige one with peanut butter and banana, but adding just two spinach leaves would give it a fresh green shade.”

Okay, they look nice but would you actually drink them? Hedvig replies: "Sometimes it took a few tries to ensure that the final result was also delicious." She adds that people have been in touch to report that they’ve tried them at home. “A dream is to create a cookbook,” she states, “but I’m equally thrilled if people appreciate just the visual aesthetics of it.”

But drafting up good-looking visuals is all part of the day job, isn’t it? Hedvig acknowledges: “As a creative I have ideas all the time. And sometimes it’s nice to see them come to life.” We wondered if there had ever been any word from Pantone themselves on the project? “I have not had a conversation with Pantone about it,” she affirms, “but if anyone from Pantone is reading this I would love to collaborate!”

We often gawp at some artery-clogging wonders in this column, but Pantone Smoothies goes to show that healthy food can also be a feast for the eyes. And yes, you can definitely pass it on to your graphic designer friend; they'll appreciate it more than another cleanse plan, that's for sure.