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A ‘drab, dark brown’ hue of not very pleasant assertions, whether you are witnessing it up, close and personal or are just playing along to the not so favourable disposition of the narratives, is a particular shade of color widely ridiculed to be the ugliest in the world. The Pantone 448 C, a muted shade of brown with quite decipherable green streaks is a color that might tend to strike as close to being olive green in radiance, as it did to the Australian Department of Health who settled on its perceived ugliness in 2012 to make it the colour for plain tobacco and cigarette packaging in the country as a move to deter the masses for smoking. Following suit some years later have been a number of countries all around the world who unequivocally seemed to settle on the consensus of the universal unappealingness of the doomed shade of color. Not surprisingly though, since survey after survey has pointed out just how close this ill fated hue reminds people of everything equally drab and dreary, from repelling associations with ‘tar’ and ‘dirty’ to more frightening allegorical links to the all undoing nature of that entity called ‘death’.

The murky hue’s worldwide prominence to fame as the ugliest color there ever has been is also a consequence of its perceived awareness that led it to being the chosen shade of all things tobacco, rather than being the other way around. Repulsive perhaps in just how close this particular shade of ugliness tends to be in its resemblance of the shade of human fecal matter, even when surprisingly that has not been one of the accounting factors behind its disrepute, at least not explicitly so, is part the reason why the Pantone 448 C had to end up with this dishonorable mention. In fact so offensive has been notions associated with this pigment in circulation that its initial positioning as bearing resemblance to the olive green shade incited opposition from the Australian Olive Association, following which the references were tweaked to put it in a light more ‘justified’ of the outrageous identity newly imposed upon its self.

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