Perhaps you’ve read the articles, or seen the headlines, proclaiming the Color of the Year to be Greenery. Then again, maybe you haven’t, but in either case the color looks like this:
This image is from an article in Time magazine about the color with some brief information on why that particular shade was chosen. An article written in 2012 from Slate goes into more detail about the whole selection process and you can visit Pantone‘s site which seems like a Pandora’s Box of color information on not only this year’s Color of the Year but also on a Color of the Day. Most of the site seems to be the merchandising of their color system to clothing designers and merchandisers as well as to graphic and industrial designers but even you can purchase a Greenery coffee mug for $25.00 in Pantone Universe online store.
Pantone’s parent company x-rite has an online color test you can take which is sorting four strips of 20 colors into the proper position. I personally thought it was fun but, you know, I like colors … and online tests so … you probably need to take more than 1 grain of salt with my recommendation. But Pantone’s history goes back 60+ years and the color printing processes it was built for goes back even longer and none of that is really my focus for this blog (you can google CMYK color model for more information and images of the process.)
My interest is in the actual Pantone Color of the Year colors. Although Pantone has been doing this odd little color popularity contest since 2000 I didn’t notice until they announced the 2014 color – Radiant Orchid. That color caught my attention. Now to be honest, we had recently moved and we were spending obscene amounts of time in home improvement stores. We were picking out paint for the master bedroom (we went with two shades of gray with white glossy paint on the woodwork) and the den (a blue, Pantone 2141 U) and I had recently started learning about and painting abstract art.
One of my 2014 paintings, Orchid with Blue, utilized a small sample-size plastic jar of Radiant Orchid that I bought in a home improvement store for about $3.50 along with 3 different colors of artist acrylics in tubes which when added together probably could have bought me and my wife a steak dinner in a restaurant with cloth napkins and a server named Brandon. It now sits on a mantle in our blue walled den in a distressed white frame.
In 2015 I found the color Marsala uninspiring and kind of muddy looking. The next year (2016) Pantone pissed me off by picking two colors Rose Quartz (a pink) and Serenity (a blue) and trying to explain their choice by making statements like, “is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity …” Wait. You picked two highly gendered colors because we are moving toward equality? Why not pick a yellow or green – you know, the types of colors people picked for baby clothes in the years before the prophetic bakers told us what genitalia the infants would possess at birth. Yes, I digressed …
Say what you will about the coming year but at least we have a nice color. They, the worldwide arbiters of style, have redeemed themselves with Greenery and I believe a trip to the paint aisle is in my future.