Two Ideas for Predicting the Next Color of the Year – Facts So Romantic

In each of the past 16 Decembers, Pantone has announced a “color of the year.” The company, famous for its system for standardizing colors around the world, has chosen hues as different as vibrant Fuschia Rose (2001) and understated Sand Dollar (2006) to encapsulate the visual and psychic spirit they believe will prevail during the coming year. Seldom do successive years share similar shades. But back in 2004, the orange Tigerlily provided a fulcrum between two relatively close blue tones: 2003’s pale Aqua Sky and 2005’s bolder Blue Turquoise. The warm orange was meant to evoke hipness and a hint of something exotic. But seen together on the color charts, the oscillation of aqua/orange/aqua calls to mind the iconic colors of the old Howard Johnson’s roadside restaurants.

The colorists at Pantone might blush at that retro connection, but it’s indicative of the incredible power color holds in branding—a big part of the reason that Pantone’s annual selections are so significant. Leatrise Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, explained that the selection committee pays attention to “concept cars, the entertainment industry, the fashion industry, [and the] food and beverage industry” in order to…

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