Category: color psychology

Pantone Color of the Year for 2017: Greenery

pantone-2017The Pantone Color of the Year for 2017 is Greenery, specifically 15-0343. Pantone says of this year’s pick, “A counterpoint to the dark malaise caused by the murky political climate around the world. Greenery burst forth in 2017 to provide us with the hope we collectively yearn for amid a complex social and political landscape.”

Good grief, that’s a helluva lot of expectation to put on one color that is basically Kermit eating at Shake Shack. In fact, I think I’d rather focus on that spunky frog enjoying a delicious burger and fries at my favorite addictive eatery than think of what else this particular color can symbolize. I mean, if Pantone is referencing the current politics in America, I think there might be a better color than one associated with money and swamps.

Pantone was founded in New York and is now headquartered in New Jersey but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt about their global inspiration since their colors truly are the standard for color matching around the world. And actually, Greenery is a nice sort of bright neutral and much better than 2016’s Colors of the Year: baby pink and blue (excuse me, Rose Quartz and Serenity) for example. That particularly twee combination made every designer I know just shake their damn heads.

rose-quartz-and-serenityNot to mention the previous year’s color “Marsala” which reminded me forcefully of Friar Tuck’s bandage needing to be changed. Talk about a dark malaise.


But like a train that shows no sign of slowing however many rational arguments and marches are made against it, here we are with this Greenery. It may be already overused but I have to admit it looks fabulous in people’s yards if they have the money to pay for water, and is a staple in packaging, fashion, and home decor. Pantone also says it’s “trans-seasonal” and anything with the word trans in it is fine in my book so let’s pour a tall glass of green river and toast Greenery, Color of the Year 2017. And to help a bit with that murky political climate, let’s add a little absinthe in there as well. Also green.

For more from Pantone about this year's pick go here

-Barbara Combs

Be attractive. Dress your brand for success.


When you're creating or recreating your website, smart design is more than decoration. Smart design makes even the hottest brands more attractive and sometimes the key is in keeping it simple. According to econsultancy, 40% of people will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

That can translate to other areas of your brand. Margin Media reports 48% of users as saying  that if they arrive on a business site that isn't working well on mobile, they take it as an indication of the business simply not caring. (stats pulled from the awesome Hubspot)

Color is key in web design as it is in other areas of marketing, maybe second in importance only to color in packaging. For your website, color can affect positive or negative growth pretty dramatically. Here's a clear and cool little infographic on color from instantshift:


It's important to be aware of trends in consumer reactions. Smart design + strategy is the recipe that helps your brand exert all kinds of gravitational attractiveness. Be the Ryan Gosling of branding and don’t be afraid to channel your inner heartthrob.

2014 Pantone Color of the year: Not-so-Radiant Orchid


Color of the Year for 2014 is Radiant Orchid, specifically Pantone 18-3224 for those of you who love to be exact about such things. And thank god for it as last year’s color was Emerald which was actually too depressing to even blog about. Pantone announced this year's pick as “vibrant, captivating—and suddenly everywhere. With a harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health.”

Awesome! The only problem is, on closer inspection Radiant Orchid ain’t really all that radiant. In fact, it's pretty damned mauve. Exhibit A:


So we’ll embrace the orchid radiance only after we toss in a few real fuchsias, purples and pinks. Check it out.


You should visit the fab sites where we grabbed some of the crazy cool stuff above:, and

Color of the year for 2010. Not just for roadside jewelry stands anymore.


Turquoise, specifically Pantone® 15-5519, has been crowned Color of the Year for 2010. If it makes you feel like slipping on your sarong and sipping a Coconut Willie by the pool…well, then you are a very strange young man. But on trend, apparently.

Pantone, the global authority on color and color standards for the design industry, says that Turquoise (which they inexplicably capitalize every time they mention it) “evokes thoughts of soothing tropical waters and a languorous, effective escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of well-being.” It’s also the color of a ’55 Ford Station Wagon I once had that was actually the cause of many of my everyday  troubles but we’ll let that pass. Continue reading "Color of the year for 2010. Not just for roadside jewelry stands anymore."

Prisoners in PinkThe power of color on behavior.

newpinkSmart marketers know that color has a strong effect on emotional response. Specific colors have the ability to raise our blood pressure beyond our conscious control, increase our pulse rate, breathing and adrenaline—or to calm us down, pacify us.

Color psychologists cite an increasing number of studies linking colors to specific responses. One study found that weight lifters have more powerful performances in blue rooms, and another found that babies cry more frequently in yellow rooms. Packaging and signage in reds and orange can stimulate appetite and seem to markedly increase impulse purchases.

Continue reading "Prisoners in PinkThe power of color on behavior."