Color Bars

The Year of the Radiant Orchid

Radiant Orchid - 2014 Color of the YearSay farewell to 2013, also known as the year of Emerald, and welcome the year of Radiant Orchid, which Pantone declared as color of the year.

While many marketers, especially those in the fashion industry, begin scrambling to update products with a fuscia-meets-purple color palette, let’s take a moment and answer a few questions likely on consumers’ minds – what is Pantone, is Radiant Orchid really 2014’s definitive hue and why does it matter?

Those in the design and printing industries are familiar with Pantone’s well-known Pantone Matching System (PMS). By its own definition, Pantone is “an innovative system for identifying, matching and communicating colors to solve the problems associated with producing accurate color matches in the graphic arts community.” Essentially, Pantone standardized colors so designers, printers, painters, and others in the creative and production industries can communicate clearly to one another.

Over the last 50 years, Pantone has expanded from a simple color-matching system to a business of its own with products catering to the design community’s needs, and research and development for ink formulas, textiles, digital technology and more. The company issues an annual Pantone View report, which fashion designers and other consumer-oriented companies may purchase to help guide their designs for future products.

According to Pantone, the color of the year isn’t just for fashion, but is instead “a color crossing all areas of design, which is an expression of a mood, an attitude, on the part of the consumers.” This means Pantone considers factors like the economy and consumer outlook in addition to considering the perception of a color’s meaning. Radiant Orchid has a few key attributes – magic and creativity. Radiant Orchid encourages innovation and originality, which are increasingly valued in today’s society, according to the company’s press release.

While the fashion industry is sure to pump out countless products in the orchid color scheme, should designers for brands in other industries immediately latch on to the trend? NST’s Creative Director Michelle Livermore weighs in on the importance of the color of the year to her:

Pantone’s color of the year is always a great reference to see what direction they think design is going. It usually makes you stop and consider colors you may or may not have paired together in the past, and possibly rethink them. Sometimes it is good just to refresh your thoughts and see what color may define a certain period of time. For instance, avocado and gold were big in the ‘70s, and mauve and seafoam green in the ‘80s.

Brands shouldn’t leap to recreate their products or logos in the “it” hue of the moment. Instead, take Pantone’s color of the year as an opportunity to explore new design options and color combinations. Take the chance to be creative – after all, that’s what Radiant Orchid is all about.

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