The History of Cass Art Colour

by Cass Art

Next week, on Saturday 12th October, we launch the Orange Deep Lake Canvas Tote Bag in our stores. To celebrate, we take a look back with Cass Art founder Mark Cass at the history of our project with Pentagram Design.

The original Art in a bag launched in store in 2008, when Mark Cass and Pentagram Designer Angus Hyland wanted to give customers a sustainable way to carry their art home.

'The original "Art in a Bag" is what the Cass Art tote bag is all about!' says Mark. 'The idea was tha once you've bought the tools you're already carrying the art home, ready to create it.'

'We're in the colour business'

The next step was to reinstate colour names instead of the industry pantone references. 

Cass Art tote bags through history

'Cass Art also supports art and education. Pantone references are used in graphic design but they remove any love of the original paint colour. Here you have a palette that great artists have used through history. This is Cass Art's own frame of reference and we wanted to highlight the colours that Picasso and Lichtenstein had used. We're not just in the world of graphics, but fashion - and we wanted to remind customers that at the heart of everything we're in the colour business.'

Angus Hyland then led the design one step further, with the back of the bag including the names of paintings that use the colour, for example Ultra Marine blue in Kenneth Noland's Beyond (pictured in our most recently released tote bag, Ultra Marine, pictured below).

'Championing the art itself'

Mark and Angus had originally considered having just the artist's name on the bag, 'but we wanted to flip it on its head and highlight the names of the pictures' says Mark. 'Artists often obsess about the name as part of the creative process - and championing the art itself acknowledges this as part of the process alongside the use of the colour.'

We were inspired to look back at all our bags when a Cass Art customer, @yochantel, sent us an image via Instagram of all the tote bags she has collected over the years. She has 21 bags in 10 different colours, she is missing a Quinacridone Magenta from 2010 so if you have one to donate get in touch!

At the moment our tote bags are an in store exclusive. But the bags have been spotted around the world over the years. Tweet you with your favourite bag using #artinabag @CASSART.

YoChantel's collection of Cass Art tote bags

Lead image courtesy of Pentagram Design. See all of Pentagram's design work for Cass Art on their website.

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