12/4/15

Color of the Year . . .

Pantone, yesterday, announced their "Color of the Year". The organization - widely acknowledged as the world's leading authority on color and makers of the "PMS" system (a vital accessory for graphic designers, interior designers, painters, artists, and hipsters the world over who want to be sure to get exact matches of colors across applications and executions) - has announced a color of the year going all the way back to 1999 (2000 -  the group chooses a color in ADVANCE of a year (vs. all the rest of us trend-followers who evaluate things in arrears) in what I presume was a PR play at one point but has turned into serious discussion (for those of us who talk about these things anyway) about color and the nature and direction of it and the notion that the hot colors today can easily disappear tomorrow. Don't believe me it is a real thing? Listen to Marketplace.

Here's why I mention this here and now (I could have done this post any of the last several years and always had an opinion). I'm disappointed. The group decided, as the above picture might have foretold, to go with TWO colors this year. Why does this bug me? Because by 2020 they're have an entire palette that allows everyone to get what they want. Seriously - BLUE and PINK? Way to play the field, Pantone.

And I get where they are going with this - color is expanding and our phones and TVs are allowing us to reproduce and challenge color like never before (well - not "never" before, the natural world has always held billions and billions of colors) and the idea of color shifting and motion within color and visual is more and more a cue, etc. Yes - I'm aware no one from Pantone has said ANY of that as relates to their decision to do two colors as COLOR (you'll note they don't say "colors" or "co-color", etc.) of the year but I feel it and believe it and you can't prove me wrong (because facts are stupid).

I really like the colors (the normcore obsessed, New England prepster in me is fine with pastel (neither is, for the record, an actual pastel) colors that calm and sooth and that feel all the feelings in the meantime. I just wish they chose A color (singular) and stuck with it.

Take a gander at every, previous, color of the year (in reverse order (Marsala was 2015, Cerulean was 2000)).



Five blues, five reds, two oranges, one beige, one green, one purple, one yellow. I actually enjoy most of them (my favorites are last year's "marsala" or 2009's "mimosa" but I'm a sucker for orange so those shades make me happy, too - and now I'm up to 25% of all the selected colors as my (potential) favorite)) and none of them make me angry or whatever - which is good because do you want to live in a world where anyone is ANGRY about a "color of the year" selection?

I just wish that they had chosen ONE color again this year. Or, worst case, let this be a one time thing that doesn't grow and morph out of control as though for sport. Because that is no less okay than selling collections of cardboard swatches for $220. Yet I still really, really want to own a PMS.

Enjoy your time, Rose Quartz and Serenity. We'll quickly move on from you. I can't even tell you the last time I so much as THOUGHT about Fuschia Rose, frankly.