Heavy into school, so I'll quote:
"While the pantone colour palette has inspired many a design, designboom has observed the idea of transferring reality into pantone colours. Canadian designer Todd Falkowsky created pantone palettes for the major cities in the country. The colours are taken from natural locations such as rivers and creeks as well as cultural or man-made things like hockey uniforms or public transportation. Across the pond, English designer Alice Wang created a series titled 'Parktone' which took colour samples of grass in some of England's parks. She even developed a grass scanner to generate colour samples. While it is hard to say what this reality to pantone trend represents, it definitely gives new appreciation for the colours that we take for granted"
Falkowsky is a prof at OCAD and has designed for Target, among others; Some of his work can be found here