If your work causes you to so much as glance in the direction of a designer, you've probably heard of PANTONE®. If not, the company is simply known best for providing color standards across professional print and design industries, anywhere from fashion to graphic design. PANTONE® assigns a numeric value to a very specific color and helps assure companies like Coca-Cola that their standard red logo will always show up in the same red color, whether it's on a plastic vending machine, an aluminum can, or a cotton t-shirt.
Each year, mostly as a marketing stunt, PANTONE® releases its "Color of the Year," and for design nerds like me, it's always fun to see how they arrived at this selection. The company released this statement as a description for how they choose the color each year:
The color of the year selection requires careful consideration and, to arrive at the selection, Pantone quite literally combs the world looking for color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films that are in production, traveling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from technology, availability of new textures and effects that impact color, and even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention.
The chart below shows some of the more recent Colors of the Year and includes the selection for 2014: PANTONE® 18-3224 Radiant Orchid. This color evokes a sense of royalty and recognition, and it's great for inspiring creativity. It's a nice balance between blue and red, colors that contrastingly stand for stability and emotion; so Radiant Orchid can help provide balance, calmness, and professionalism in a world where originality and creativity are valued.
Here's hoping you find some inspiration in this year's PANTONE® Color of the Year!