THE COLOR YOU WILL SOON SEE EVERYWHERE: As a bit of a respite from all of the red and green and gold holiday everything it might be interesting to shift focus a bit to this past week’s announcement about the 2015 Color of the Year.
You know how all of the sudden a color looks good to you and it seems to pop up everywhere? Well, that’s not an accident. Color is big business. And color forecasting is undertaken by a variety of companies – perhaps none so well known as PANTONE, INC. the famous Carlstadt, NJ company known for its PMS (no, not that PMS!) system. The initials P, M. and S are an acronym for Pantone Matching System and refers to colors standards created for a wide range of manufacturing processes.
Every year Pantone announces, and promotes, a color of the year. They conduct a lot of scientific and social research to come up with this (and, no doubt, they’ve looked at a few tea leaves) so the gears in the vast assortment of color-based businesses can start turning. Secondary palettes are created as well. The naming of the color is almost important as the color itself. Color, as the single most distinct and cost-effective product differentiator available to a manufacturer, is hugely important in product development. Pigments and dyes need to be developed and paint formulations made for the many materials, processes and lead times required for different types of manufacturing over a range of industries including fashion, cosmetics, packaging, home furnishings, automotive and all sorts of accessory products.
After the seasonal onslaught of traditional holiday colors, when your eyes and aesthetic sensibilities are hankering for something new – you will find this new color slipping into the marketplace. It will look great and fresh and by next Fall you will see it everywhere.
So, ta-da, the 2015 Color of the Year is MARSALA. According to Pantone, “Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.” In previous eras, this color might have been called “cranberry” or “maroon.” You can’t help but wonder what with 2015 being an electioneering year if a color which has bits of blue and red in it may have been factored in as well.
There are many practical considerations which go into the selection of the annual color, too – its versatility across industries and usages and its wide appeal to key demographic groups. Again according to Pantone, consider their recommendation in the following terms:
• Equally appealing to men and women, Marsala is a stirring and flavorful shade for apparel and accessories, one that encourages color creativity and experimentation.
• Flattering against many skin tones, sultry and subtle Marsala is a great go-to color for beauty, providing enormous highlight for the cheek, and a captivating pop of color for nails, shadows lips and hair.
• Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors
• An earthy shade with a bit of sophistication, texture is the story in print and packaging. A matte finish highlights Marsala’s organic nature while adding a sheen conveys a completely different message of glamour and luxury.
Do you have an eye for color? This is not a random question. One out of 255 women and 1 out of 12 men have some sort of color vision deficiency. If you want to test your color acumen, take the basic Farnsworth Munsell 100 Hue test. It’s a fun exercise – a little harder than you think – which gives you a very good feel for just how good your color sense is. Click on the link below to take the test – don’t worry, virtually no one gets a 100!