Just in time for the theatrical release of the new movie Barbie, British artist Stuart Semple created Pinkie, which he has dubbed the “Barbiest pink paint,” and made it available for purchase.
Pinkie blends high-quality acrylic resins, optical brighteners, and new fluorescent pigments. It comes as a response to Mattel’s registered trademark on the signature color. Creatives who use the tone without permission may be forced to weather the threat of litigation.
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Semple’s paint, on the other hand, can be freely used by anyone interested in the shade. Those who purchase Pinkie must agree that they are not an employee of Mattel or in any way associated with the company, and that to the best of their understanding the paint will not find its way into the hands of anyone at Mattel.
Semple is not a stranger to the ways in which exclusive rights can be applied to colors, both by corporations and other artists. With his tone Blink, billed as the blackest black ink, Semple faced opposition from Anish Kapoor, who holds exclusive rights to Vantablack, which has been called the world’s blackest black.
In addition to Pinkie and Blink, Semple created the world’s blackest acrylic paint Black 3.0, the Tiffany Blue–colored paint TIFF, and a version of Yves Klein’s blue IKB. (Klein’s IKB stood for International Kline Blue; Semple’s stands for Incredibly Kleinish Blue). Semple also created the free plugin Freetone, which offers 1,280 colors for free to the public, to circumvent the purchase of colors through Adobe and Pantone.