December 9, 2011
The following is an excerpt from an article by Aylin Zafar for TIME.com followed by a little background on the selection process. Every year I spend a great deal of time perusing all of the issues and happenings that might influence color directions in the future. Ever since the color of the year has been named I have been intimately involved in the process, as I am the Director of the Pantone Color Institute and their lead forecaster in all industries mentioned below.
The world is about to look a lot more vivid: the Pantone Color Institute has named “Tangerine Tango,” a radiant red-orange, as the top color of 2012. The color experts have been amping up their selections each year, with the serene and calming turquoise in 2010 giving way to 2011’s honeysuckle, a warm, reddish-pink color meant to lift spirits and instill confidence.
But the current economic climate and frustrations call for something bolder this coming year. Pantone has turned to the “spirited reddish-orange” hue to “provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.” Orange signals not only vitality, but also urgency and strength—associations that should resonate in a year where many are hoping to finally start seeing changes. “There’s the element of encouragement with orange”.
The color of the year selection is a very thoughtful process. 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.
For more than a decade, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design.