Farrow & Ball x Natural History Museum paint collection

Design: Butterfly Cannon
Location: United Kingdom
Project Type: Produced
Client: Farrow & Ball
Product Launch Location: United Kingdom
Packaging Contents: Paint
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Tin


The new Farrow & Ball Colour by Nature palette of 16 hues blended with an eco-friendly water-base, draws inspiration from the rare book library of the Natural History Museum, which holds a version of Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours. This ground-breaking book, used by Charles Darwin on his seminal voyage on HMS Beagle, contains beautifully written descriptions of the colours of nature; inspiring the vibrant, jewel-like oranges & reds, natural, opulent greens & blues and range of soft neutrals that make up the collection. Farrow & Ball and the Natural History museum approached Butterfly Cannon with the challenge of how to communicate this historic collaboration, giving weight to each partner.

Whilst mindful of the rich history and heritage of each of these iconic institutions, we knew we had to ensure that this authentic and meaningful story was brought to life in a contemporary way, reflecting how both partners continue to remain culturally relevant.

Inspired by how every colour described in Werner’s book evokes a vision of the natural world, we sourced a range of archival black and white engravings and full colour botanical and zoological illustrations. These were then montaged together, migrating from the iconic Farrow & Ball roundel, as a celebration of colour and the shared respect and curiosity for the natural world that was at the heart of the collaboration. The base of each tin was enlivened with Dutch Orange, a clean, bright hue from the collection that serves as a perfect backdrop for the Natural History Museum logo and ties the whole design together in a contemporary manner.

The Colour by Nature collection launches on 19th September as an extension to the 132 colours on Farrow & Ball’s colour card, with the designs featuring in the creative campaign for the launch.

“This has been a dream project to work on. Whilst we were acutely aware of the responsibility of working with two such beloved institutions that form part of the fabric of the nation, by getting to the heart of what was important in the partnership, the team have created a design that ensures they will remain fresh and alive for years to come.” – Ian Cameron, Creative Director at Butterfly Cannon

“This is the first time we have created a new palette as an extension to our carefully curated colour card, so it’s an incredibly exciting time for us. We were delighted to partner with Butterfly Cannon on this creative campaign and new tin design that perfectly captures the spirit and ethos of the collaboration and brings the whole story to life.” – Charlotte Cosby, Head of Creative at Farrow & Ball