• 07.29.16

The World’s Ugliest Color Examined By Graphic Design Experts

Researchers found Pantone 448C to be highly unappealing, and chose it for cigarette packaging in Australia to deter smokers. It has since been called the “world’s ugliest color” by bloggers, but some experts disagree.

When market research firm Gfk was hired by the Australian government to consider how cigarette packs could be designed to prevent smoking, the firm came up with a colorful solution: Make the packs as unappealing as possible by wrapping them in an earthy “dark brown,” or what would be matched to Pantone color 448C.


The color was found least appealing to prospective cigarette buyers in tests, and it has since been proclaimed “the world’s ugliest color” by the blogosphere.

But in the interest of fairness to all colors, we talked to designers Milton Glaser and Debbie Millman, along with Pantone VP Laurie Pressman, to get their professional take on this cancerous, baby poop, lung brown.

About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company. He started, a simple way to give back every day.