“…and the 2014 Color of the Year is…”
Unlike the Academy of Motion Picture’s announcement of ‘best picture of the year’, Pantone’s annual announcement of ‘Color of the Year’ is a bit of a ‘non-event’… creating little if any stir with the general population. And to say that professional designers wait with baited breath for this annual color decree might also be a bit of a stretch. But this year’s color, ‘Radiant Orchid’ is greatly welcomed … especially given the harsh winter we have endured … not just as Northlanders, but for much of the country. What could feel more lively and fresh than ‘radiant orchid’… a color selected by the Pantone Color Institute® to ‘intrigue the eye and spark the imagination’! It is the ‘breath of fresh air’ we need right now to feed our dreams of gardens ablaze with color … a color to liven the bland palette of winter!
Last year’s color, ‘Emerald Green’, was chosen because it served as a ‘symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity’. According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®, this year’s color is, ‘an invitation to innovation’ and ‘encourages expanded creativity and originality’ which is increasingly valued in today’s society. ‘Radiant Orchid’ is ‘an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones’ and ‘inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health.’
It may seem that these proclamations are rather trivial in light of the more serious issues people face in daily life, but color has significant impact on how we feel and function in our everyday habitat. And Pantone takes its color selection process very seriously. Every year a new color is selected through a painstaking process where color experts from around the world gather to discuss color influences that are being observed in art, culture and technology. This global authority on color influences product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, cosmetics, home and industrial design, product packaging and graphic design.
So how will we find ‘Radiant Orchid’ enhancing our lives? It has already made its way onto the red carpet of the high end fashion industry. But if you are not into haute couture, you might encounter it in more subtle ways. Because this color was made known to manufacturer’s a year in advance, radiant orchid has already influenced new paint colors, furniture and decorative accessories. You will find it already incorporated into product packaging graphics, as well as the set designs of movies and tv shows.
This is a color that compliments deep hunter greens, and pairs well with turquoise, teal and pale shades of yellow. If you are looking to re-fresh an otherwise neutral room, this vibrant hue will liven up grays, taupe and beige, without overwhelming other colors. Radiant Orchid is a perfect color to apply to the design concept of ‘color blocking’ where a splash of a single color is introduced to a neutral space for visual impact.
So welcome, ‘Radiant Orchid’! You are the bright splash we’ve been craving for some time now … so glad you’ve arrived!
I am a columnist for Duluth Superior Magazine, a monthly publication dedicated to the finer attributes of life in our Northland. My column appears in the Style section and is titled ‘Living by Design’. The following column was published March 2014.
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