In 2012, the Australian government commissioned a research company to design the packaging for all tobacco products. In order to make the packaging as unappealing as possible, to discourage smoking, the research company was tasked with finding the ugliest color in the world. The company surveyed 1,000 people, showing them several ugly colors like lime green, olive green, white, beige, gray, and mustard. The winner (or loser, depending upon your perspective) was olive green. Of course, the Australian Olive Association immediately objected to the name, so olive green (technically PMS 448C, opaque couche) was renamed “drab dark brown.” Participants in the study associated drab dark brown with dirty, tar, and death — the perfect color for cigarettes.
There was a time when drab dark brown was not so maligned. Interestingly, the ugliest color in the world is found in one of the most famous paintings in the world — Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. The dress and shawl that the enigmatic Mona Lisa is wearing is very similar to PMS 448. The ugly color is also found in Vincent van Gogh’s Olive Trees Against a Slope of a Hill and Edvard Munch’s Puberty.
For further reading: http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2016/jun/08/stylewatch-pantone-448c-ugliest-colour-world-opaque-couche-australian-smokers-fashion