When looking at an object or screen, colour is the first thing people see and the last thing they remember. It is a sensory experience that can communicate a vast number of things in a moment. The colours we gravitate toward mean something to us, and those we find in the world around us – from industrial design, to textiles, to paint, to graphics – change from year to year based on all kinds of social, cultural, and economic reasons.
You may have heard of Pantone’s colour of the year. Pantone is a world-renowned authority on colour, and creates colour systems for use in print and digital industries. The colour of the year is a colour carefully selected by colour experts and researchers that sets the tone for the year to come. Colour-related industries take this very seriously. While many colour forecasting companies and groups provide predictions for colour up to three years in advance – the Pantone colour of the year is the big colour at the top of the pyramid.
For 2017, Pantone has announced “Greenery” as the colour of the year. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute explains, “Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and the larger purpose.” Deep thoughts, Pantone. Greenery is meant to be a refreshing and symbolic of new beginnings.
Keeping in mind that Pantone services consumer industries, this new yellow-green shade is meant to evoke the first days of spring, lushness, and encourage consumers to breath in, reinvigorate and start fresh. It is also representative of living life, pursuing personal passions and revitalization.
Certain colours go in and out of fashion. Purple and brown tend to be colours that come into popularity for a short time, but do not last. They will come around again years later. Bright, intense greens are like this too. To have a yellow-green as the colour of the year is unique – just don’t buy too many things in this colour (or paint your living room), because it doesn’t have the longevity other colours do.
Last year, 2016, was a very interesting year – it was the first year that Pantone ever released a gradient of two colours as the colour of the year. Serenity (a light blue), and Rose Quartz (a light pink). It remains a fascinating and interesting choice – and was amazing to see how people leveraged it. Greenery is meant to be a progression of this – a bright contrast that will pair well with the tones of 2016.
Sometimes the colour of the year surprises me, or I feel I don’t even like it. It’s interesting how exposure adjusts my mentality towards it. The more I see the colour around me, the more I understand it, and the more I grow to like it. Maybe it’s because culturally, in this moment, it is just the colour we need.