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.

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