Pantone calls itself “the world-renowned authority on color,” and perhaps rightfully so. The company has been in business since 1963, when its founder devised the Pantone Matching System, a standard scheme for identifying and communicating different shades and hues.
At the turn of the millennium, the company launched the project, “Color of the Year.” For seventeen years now, Pantone’s color forecasting has been a self-fulfilling prophecy. Different industries worldwide refer back to it when releasing new trends.
The Art of Color Forecasting
Although Pantone’s Color of the Year is widely anticipated and supported by a number of industries, the science behind it is still obscure. As Pantone senior vice president Ron Potesky said, “The complexity of the logic behind Color of the Year is greater than interior design or fashion—it’s a forecast, a reflection of what’s happening in the world.”
The process of color forecasting is not a simple one, although it’s highly subjective in nature. For months on end, the Pantone team gathers what they call “proof points” from all over the world. They go to car shows, runways, decorator showcases, and other important events that define culture and lifestyle. They try to make sense of meaningful overlaps so they can distill the mood and state of the times into a single color.
Pantone’s yearly selection serves no direct purpose to the consumer world, but its influence can be observed in many sectors. Owing to its longevity and the power of social media, the project has reinvented itself as an authority in color trend selection.
If you’re into the colors game, check out this infographic about Greenery, Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year.
Colors and business always go hand in hand. The consumer world is about trust and persuasion, and it’s hard to accomplish either or both if your brand is portrayed in a dull and dismal way. Choose a vibrant and fresh palette this year—one that includes Greenery, perhaps—and you might just see your customers showing more interest in your business.
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Friedman, Vanessa. “Color of 2017? Pantone Picks a Spring Shade.” New York Times. December 8, 2016. www.nytimes.com
Hazzard, Tracy Leigh. “Why Pantone’s Color of 2017 Matters to Your Business.” Inc. December 9, 2016. www.inc.com
Hua, Karen. “Pantone’s Color of the Year 2017 Is Inspired by Nature and Influences Design.” Forbes. December 9, 2016. www.forbes.com
Pasquarelli, Adrianne. “How Pantone Picks Its Color of the Year.” Advertising Age. December 22, 2015. adage.com
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“Shinrin Yoku.” Shinrin Yoku. n.d. www.shinrin-yoku.org
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