Tag Archive for: Color of the Year

Pantone Radiant OrchidWhile most people outside of designers don’t tend to follow color trends, it can be surprising how much they affect what you see every day. Most consumers would be surprised to hear that colors come in and out of favor in design on a regular basis, and those trends affect marketing, purchasing decisions, and your perception of a brand or object.

One of the leading influencers in color studies and usage is the Pantone Color Institute, known for their widely used color system. Not only do they provide an organized way to communicate about color in exact terms, they also regularly analyze media, socio-political events, and technological advances to help decide the Color of the Year.

In 2014, you can expect to see a lot more “Radiant Orchid”, as the purplish-pink color has been chosen as the color of the year, as reported by Web Designer Depot.

Portlandia EmeraldLast year’s chosen color was the more recognizable Emerald, though the specific hue wasn’t what most actually associate with emerald. It was a bold but relaxing color of green “symbolizing growth, renewal, and prosperity”, which then became extraordinarily popular among the fashion and design world.

“Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Institute. “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

It is hard to tell whether the analysis is so accurate that the team can predict a color that will become popular on its own, or whether Pantone’s influence is the primary factor making these colors so ubiquitous for a year. But, it is almost guaranteed 2014 is going to have its fair share of Radiant Orchid.

emerald-pantone-17-5641What does it mean to be Pantone’s Color of the Year? It seems like an arbitrary designation to many, but if you watch the design trends close enough, it is easy to see how emerald was chosen as this year’s favorite color.

Emerald works great as a base color or as an accent, and it is an easy choice in a year when colors have gone slightly more natural and pastel. It is a favorite of many, and has always been a staple in fashion, beauty, and design. It was really only a matter of time until emerald had its moment in the sun.

Pantone’s emerald chosen as the color of the year is very specific, and very in line with the design trend of subdued light colors that still pack a lot of punch. Emerald 17-5641 is the lush blue-green that works wonders as a background and is a friendly complement to many colors without clashing.

“The most abundant hue in nature, the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, following the announcement of the color of the year. “Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. This powerful and universally-appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors.”

Green has always been a popular color because it lacks many negative connotations. Greens are common and associated with health, and is a the second most common favorite color, following only blue. We are used to greens and they don’t have the aggressive or overly feminine associations harsh reds or soft yellows do.

Emerald specifically has many positive emotional associations such as soothing, relaxation, and harmony  and there are almost no negative color meanings. The only bad connection that can be drawn is greed or death, which are normally more thought of with more sickly or saturated greens, not the comforting blue-green you’ll find in this type of emerald.

If you want to get inspired or hear some tips on how to use the color of the year, Designshack has created an entire page devoted to uses of the color in design and pop culture, as well as exploring the color’s meaning a little deeper.