A Year in Review: Color
In December 2012, Pantone announced its pick for the 2013 Color of the Year - Emerald. “A lively, radiant, lush green.”
PANTONE 17-5641. I have to ask: is it really THE color of the year? Does choosing green (or any color, for that matter) actually define the entire year?
Since 2000, the folks at Pantone have chosen the COTY (Color of The Year) ahead of time, before anything even happens in the year to come. “Color of the Year” is perhaps a misnomer. They’re setting trends to come, not describing past ones.
As for Emerald, I don’t hate Pantone’s choice. Green is actually one of my favorite colors. My eyes are green and I love a good meadow as much as the next person. Plus it’s the color of the magical land of Oz and what my grandmother calls cash. (“Enjoy the green!” she’ll write in my birthday card, a crisp $5 bill tucked inside.)
To me, it’s hard to definitively say that right now, in December 2012, next year will be green. Sure, maybe I’ll buy a pair of jewel-toned pumps next summer. Maybe I’ll even use my green nail polish after Christmas. But will the whole year be themed “Emerald?” Maybe, but I don’t think so.
At the risk of sounding like a hater of my beloved Pantone, perhaps the best way to approach the COTY is to actually look back at the year that has passed, much like “The Year’s 100 Best Albums” or Time’s infamous “Person of the Year.”
When I think back to 2012, I can’t help but think of a host of other colors that speak more to me than Tangerine Tango ever did. In fact, I think 2012 has a color scheme — not just one hue to call its own. Here are my picks for the 2012 Top 10 Colors of the Year, in no particular order:
1. Gold Medal (Pantone 7406 C)
With the Olympics as the highlight of the summer and the U.S. taking home 46 gold medals, this can’t not be a highlight of the year.
2. Swing State (Pantone 286 C)
Blue states prevailed in the election this year, thus this choice. (Had the Mitt Romney won the presidential election, perhaps this color would be red.)
3. Mottis (Pantone Orange 021 C)
It was a big year for us at Mottis — we changed our name, our brand, our walls. I couldn’t help but choose this color — I’m surrounded every day.
4. Margarita (Pantone 809 C)
This electric green hue reminds me of summer. Like a fresh, salt-rimmed margarita, refreshing on a hot day at the beach.
5. Honey Boo Boo (Pantone 691 C)
I say no more. Here’s to hoping TV gets better next year…
6. Sapphire Crystal (Pantone 421 C)
The launch of the iPhone 5 was a big topic this year. The sapphire cyrstal of the new iSight camera is “second only to diamond on the scale of transparent materials.”
7. Sandy (Pantone 324 C)
This hurricane was devastating. This minty aqua reminds me of both the weather maps predicting devastation and the hope that the affected areas can recover.
8. Camo (Pantone 465 C)
With so many troops fighting abroad, I had to choose a color in their honor. This tone reminds me of the desert I often see depicted in the news.
9. Top 40 (Pantone 259 C)
From Psy and Carly Rae to fun. and the Lumineers, I dedicate this color to all the music we played in the Creative Department this year.
10. Wall Street (Pantone 362 C)
Green — both the color of street signs and dollars — is undoubtedly the color of one of the biggest issues facing America today.