Travis Shaffer

Sorority Skin Tones: a PANTONE® color guide

Travis Shaffer, "Sorority Skin Tones"

This project seeks to illustrate the most popular* skin tones among American sorority members. This information is the result of an extensive Facebook study wherein the artist analyzed screen captures isolating the necks, faces, chests, arms, legs, foreheads, etc. of 10 popular American sororities via their Official Facebook pages. These screen captures were then averaged and matched to their nearest PANTONE®** color swatches. The 20 most frequent matches are illustrated in this work.

*In preparation of this product, every effort has been made to offer the most current and correct information possible. The information shown represents research conducted on specific portions of a series of photographs selected from the official Facebook pages of ten American Sorority photographic databases as of 7 May 2010. In analyzing these images the artist makes no guarantee that information enclosed represents an accurate portrayal of skin tone prevalence in American sororities at large.

**This work is in no way affiliated or associated with X- Rite, Inc. and/or or it’s respective companies. PANTONE® is a registered trademark of X-Rite, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI.


Travis Shaffer was born in rural Pennsylvania in 1983 and currently lives and works in Lexington, Kentucky. He received an MFA from the University of Kentucky in 2010. He has had recent solo exhibitions at Texas Tech University, Lubbock (2010); Land of Tomorrow Gallery, Louisville, KY (2010) and Institute 193, Lexington KY (2010). He has also participated in group exhibitions and artist’s book fairs Throughout the US, Canada and Europe. Shaffer’s work is included in the collection of Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book + Manuscript Library; The University of the West of England’s Centre for Fine Print Research; and The University of Colorado-Boulder’s Photobook Collection. Shaffer is also a member of the Artist’s Books Cooperative, a group of international artists working with Print-on-demand technologies. Shaffer’s upcoming exhibitions include “. . . After The Suburbs” at Kiang Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, and the 15th annual print triennial titled “for love not money” held at KUMU in Tallinn, Estonia.