The edible artistic arrangements capture the color wheel of what we eat.

pantone color book and food to match it
Credit: Dina Belenko Photography / Getty Images

An Instagram artist is creating Pantone color swatches using food’s natural and cooked-up colors. The Pantone Color Institute is known best for its “Color of the Year” announcement, an annual determination of the shade that most defines our current moment, from food and fashion to branding and design. In 2018, the color of the year became Ultra Violet, a shade that’s “long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance,” and that “communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.” But the Institute and its many swatches are doing more than just picking the color that will cover our must-have kitchen accessories. Producing colors for iconic companies like Tiffany’s and big screen properties like Minions and Bates Motel proves that Pantone colors are influencing art in its many forms.

Lucy Litman, a digital marketer, is reinforcing Pantone’s artistic influence with her incredible and edible swatches. Using anywhere from two to six different hues, Litman places everyday foods, both processed and unprocessed, onto different colorful squares, creating the perfect food-color match. Known as #PantonePosts, the Instagram art show has produced swatches themed around everything from ice cream bars, rock candy, and macarons to cauliflower, corn cobs, and La Croix cans. Each of the project’s food and color pairings allows her to search for and discover the color variations in things like fish, fruits, eggs, vegetables, and even cookies.

#PantonePosts is a side project for Litman that started through her fascination with Froot Loops' unnatural colors and evolved into a tribute to the Earth’s natural, vibrant, and tasty bounty. A lover of photography and food, as well as a frequenter of her local farmer’s market, Litman’s love for food is deeply ingrained. The Californian comes from farming families, where some of her favorite memories were inspired by growing food in the backyard.

“Food has always been what’s inspired me most in my life,” Litman told Civil Eats. “I was always amazed by nature and the idea that a tiny seed could produce such bountiful and vibrant food … the colors and variety of food continue to amaze me.”

You can view Litman’s entire and growing collection of Pantone edible swatches, or check out her clever food pun art, at her Instagram.