Monday, January 21

Pantone announces color of the year. What's yours? DISCUSSION #2

Pantone has done it before and has done it again. They have predicted what the color of the year will be.

This year's pick is PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris, a beautifully balanced blue-purple, as the color of the year for 2008. "It best represents color direction in 2008 for fashion, cosmetics and home products," explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. "As a reflection of the times, Blue Iris brings together the dependable aspect of blue, underscored by a strong, soul-searching purple cast. Emotionally, it is anchoring and meditative with a touch of magic. Look for it artfully combined with deeper plums, red-browns, yellow-greens, grapes and grays.” –How Magazine, 12/2007

It got me thinking as to what my color of the year will be. For 2007 it was PMS 294. It is the primary color used for my biggest client. I can safely say that while I love my client and I enjoy the work I do for them, I need a break from PMS 294. Moving forward into the new year, I want something new, something exciting, something different. Too often designers rely on the tried and true color choices. I know for a fact PMS 021 (orange) looks beautiful with an 85% grey. I know that a brilliant cyan blue such as PMS 299 looks amazing with a nice deep brown like PMS 161. And PMS 365 (lime green) goes with everything. I know this. They work. But what can I do to break away from the things I know? I hate being stuck in a rut. I hate just reaching for the same old resources.

So therefore, my new color of the year is going to be a bit daring.

Tada! PMS 876

It's a beautiful coppery metallic ink. Metallic? Why not? Metallics, in my opinion, are under used and overlooked. Metallics add another dimension of color to pieces. They shimmer and shine and have a wow factor without being over the top. It doesn't cost any more in the printing process to use a metallic PMS color versus a regular PMS color. I do have the advantage of having access to metallics for my clients so it may make my color choice a little unfair to a student. So, to be fair, I've translated the color into a CMYK match (see breakdown below)— a nice coppery brown — just beautiful. It's earthy and has a richness that will add depth to its use. It promotes a calmness yet not so much that it's static. I think it will compliment teals, reddish-pinks, yellow-greens and dusty purples quite well.

***Please note: I will always, first and foremost, make sure my color choices are appropriate for the target audience and client.***

What do you think of Pantone's choice? What's your color of the year? Or what color best represents you? What can we, as designers, do to keep our color use fresh and exciting?


Anonymous said...

Everyone looks good in this color. Especially in an election year. Isn't this the color that all those annoying signs on the side of the road will use?

Ms. Dash

Anonymous said...

Yep I meant PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris not the metallic. Which is lovely by the way. :-)

Ms. Dash

Anonymous said...

First off i think that the color choice by Pantone is playing it a little safe. I do like the fact that they believe that the color PMS 18-3943 Blue Iris reflects so many things. And i very much like the color the more bold Copper PMS 876 you chose. Right now in my life personally I'm more drawn to browns and warm tans. Heck last school year i went as far as buying paint for my landlord to use just so it was a nice warm sandy brown in the living room of my apartment. Although I wouldn't personally say the color for me this semester would be brown, I'm leaning more towards a burnt orange color. Maybe a bit dirty. I started playing with them last semester and really started liking them, the fit well with varying teals. As for keeping things fresh and exciting in the color palette. I sometimes just go on sights like and mess around with new shades and although they are RGB it can be inspiring for print.


Anonymous said...

Blue Iris is almost the exact color I used in my GDI package last semester. And I paired it with a yellowy-green. I guess I'm just so fashionable that I'm ahead of the game without even knowing it!

When I feel like I've got some stale color, or even design, early on in my work, I hunt around for cool poster designs, pick out two or three that I like, and try to mimic the color choices and graphic style as closely as I can. That has led me down some good paths I know I wouldn't have tried otherwise.

I never thought of picking up a "color of the year," or semester or month, but it sounds interesting. Maybe I'll try out PMS 165. Getting orange to print right is a challenge, though. It's worth a try.


Anonymous said...

Im confused to how the would decide the "color of the year" especially when its so early within the year to get results. Do they truly predict the color that will be used to most, or do designers just say " hey, you know those pantone guys are pretty slick, lets use the color they picked!" Since the pantone system is highly prolific in the world of design, it almost seems to me that it would be a design mecca where designers just follow in the footsteps laid out before them.

I do feel as if it is a nice color to use in future projects, depending on the company and the target audience. I can see it being used to symbolize royalty or high class, but i cant see it being used for too many products for the general consumer; perhaps a mini van for the stylish soccer mom or the newest addition to the artist formally known as prince's wardrobe. This is just my opinion, but what do I know, I like to stick to the basics.

I do however approve of the metallic orange. I think it could give a nice rustic touch to a design. There is a similar color that I've seen used in many GM cars, which depending on the model looks very sleek and provocative.

I generally try to use different colors with each project just to play the field a bit and make each project i do unique. However, I would like to dive into Pantone's DS 246-Sc. The color is a rich blueish teal color that matches well with yellows such as Ds 1-5c and oranges such as DS 18-3c. It also seemed to match in a unique way with burnt reds and some offshoots of magentas. I could see it being used in a poster or within my magazine somewhere, who knows.

Finally, to keep colors fresh, i like to look through design magazines or posters to find color combinations that really catch my eye. As always, the color index is nice, but it always seems to be a bit different in the book then on screen, which is a direct result of rgb vs cmyk and the color calibration of my screen vs their printer.

As usual, it seems that I have typed too much, so I will leave with a suggestion to everyone....pick up the PRINT Design Annual and page through it, lots of good stuff!! Take notice to the usage of tree and floral like forms in can find on every few pages each being somewhat similar to its predecessor but still retaining a unique touch.


Anonymous said...

Blue Iris? I have to say that Pantone is choosing a safe color for this year. Blue in itself is a color that any can use for a variety of situations.

Maybe I'm missing the point. I personally like the copper better than the blue. Copper is a seldom used color. I'd like to think that in the design world, offbeat color schemes are far more attractive than the same standby values. And as far as I've seen, I'd be wrong.

I think it may be our society. People don't like change these days. They like to see the same old designs and images because it makes them feel safe. I for one love outlandish design (note: outlandish is not the same as gaudy to me.)

And I'm done with my speech. Good thing this isn't an issue that really gets to me or this post would never end ;)


Anonymous said...

I agree that metallic ink PMS 876 is appealing for the new year. I enjoy the use of metallics and if not overused, they can add nice touches of detail to a piece of design.
I would have to choose my three favorite colors currently for the new year would be PMS 346, PMS 293, and PMS 530. I love these soft colors that boarder the pastel look of the early 90s wardrobes, but are dark enough to be much more pleasant. That blue iris is rather attractive, I think they picked the right color for the year, which was something I was unaware people do.

Anonymous said...

To comment on Pantone's choice for this year, I think that PMS 18-3943 Blue Iris was an "okay" choice. I like deep colors, however I am not nuts about the particular type of blue that was chosen. I think that it appears a bit dull. And also, it is a good color to use for many types of branding and such, but I do not see Blue Iris as being used for THAT many projects. But that is just my opinion. Some people like green and some like yellow and then there are those who will hate both.

Also, I have to agree with the one comment made about how can people truly predict the color of the year? Trends are short lived and everyone should just do whatever they want and not care so much about what is in and what isn't. But on the other hand, it's fun to watch how some people keep so careful track of the new color palette's every year and try to religiously stick to them.

Moving on, the color that I would pick that I feel best represents myself, is Pantone 257 C. It is a soft Lavendar color. I have always loved soft purples. I think they are very relaxing and refreshing to look at. They also give off a cleanliness vibe as well. I have used purples in some of my projects and have developmented an attachment to them. I have found that purple's are very versatile and work well with a lot of colors such as yellows, pink, and oranges. You can create a happy mood or a dark mood depending on how you manipulate your color.

A lot of times I find myself picking up design books in stores and just paging through them and looking at what other designers are doing and how they are using color in their own designs. I also highly encourage everyone to dare themselves to use a color palette they never thought of using before. Sometimes placing yourself outside of your own element forces you to expand your mind even more and to grow into and even better designer.


Anonymous said...

I was pretty sure that after reading this a remembered a scene from Devil Wears Prada about the importance of color. I searched for it online and found a couple of articles about it. So instead of trying to say it better myself I'm going to put in a little of the article and the website in case anyone wants to read it in its entirety.

Filling in shades of meaning
Museum explores the color blue

By Lisa Panora, Globe Correspondent February 8, 2007

Anyone who's seen "The Devil Wears Prada" knows there's more to the color blue than meets the eye.

In perhaps the most memorable scene of the film, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) enlightens her assistant, Andy (Anne Hathaway), about the evolution of her bargain-bin blue sweater.

"I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh, I don't know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean," Miranda says.

She explains that after being used in an Oscar de la Renta collection, the color cerulean trickled down from eight other designers to department stores across the country only to make its way to Andy's unfortunate closet...

Anyway the article goes into talking about how the color was used in museums etc. and it's pretty interesting. I haven't picked out a color of the year. I guess there are certain colors that are more appealing at different times in your life though. For my first car I wanted a color similar to the one that Professor Bosler picked, but a little more orange. As far as fashion goes I saw a lot of yellow the last time I was out and while I'd love to be more specific and give its pantone color I still don't fully understand how to get those numbers.

I know what my word of the year is though-Fresh. I'm determined to be "fresh to death" in 08. So whatever colors I choose they better follow suit. Bill and I think alike so if you're having doubts just ask a panther.


Anonymous said...

I'm not too sure I like the idea of setting a color of the year as soon as the year starts. Maybe its the cynic in me or maybe its just that trends are the biggest enemy of creativity. It's a bit dramatic for me to say that, I know, but let design from the past year dictate a color of that year. As unlikely as it may be, it'd be shame if someone were to pick Pantone 18-3943 just because its popular.

Anyways, the color itself is quite nice, soothing even. Personally, I'm more drawn to mood colors with a bit more gray in them. And that, I suppose brings me to my pick for the coming year, which I think I'll pick for inspirational reasons: Pantone DS 317-1 U. To me, it's a color of determination. It has its nose to the grindstone. It's what you dig out of your fingernails after a long day's work. But that's not to say the lovely Pantone DS 317-1 U can't be dressed up with light shades of most colors. In the right combination, it can become quite elegant.


Aweinhoffer_DB_GDII said...

18-3943 feel quite soothing while also being a deep/rich color. Which I think is a hard balance to find, many a times you can get a really soothing color but it will be pale and pretty neutral. Or the other way around, where the color is very rich but comes off too aggressive or edgy.

PMS-123 and 195 I think will haunt me for the rest of my life. For those that dont know, they are Kutztown's colors. Working at the MSU and having to use the 2 of them all the time is killing me.

My personal colr of the year would have to be DS 86-1c. It's sort of a retro-y red color. very worn feeling to it. Kind of like an old super hero outfit.

Anonymous said...

I believe that pantone's blue iris color of the year pick was a great choice. I love the emotions attached to the combination of blue and purple - a mystical and soothing type of feeling is portrayed. I agree with Eiseman in that this color works best to represent home and fashion. It's a deep intense color that portrays seriousness over playfulness. I would actually choose a color pretty close to the one that Pantone chose for the year. My life always seeming so hectic and busy I want my color to represent what I need most at the end of the day: relaxation and calmness. A subtle color such as OOOOOO would suit me well. To keep our color use fresh and exciting I feel that we should not only use analagous colors as a great way to show variety while keeping consistancy, but to pair unlikely colors together to create surprise and originality. At least for me, I find that designs comprised of what is least expected somtimes work the best. As we are learning that design is very competitive and how we should always fight for uniqueness and a style of our own, even the simplest thing as combining four very unlike colors together in a piece can be enough to grab someone's attention and make your piece stand out.


Anonymous said...

I accidently forgot to go back and write in the color I chose for myself... here it is:
C87 M100 Y20 K13


Anonymous said...

Personally, I'm not really all that thrilled with Pantone's color choice. I also feel that Pantone is playing it safe as someone already said. But I do feel that with the right color combinations you can make it work and turn it into something more than it is on it's own. I have just seen this color on one too many cheesy neckties.

This color always reminds of a bad prom dress for some reason, maybe because it was the color of my own prom dress, so it could just be a personal thing I've got going on.

My choice is also a blue, but toned down a bit, Pantone 7447 M. I chose this color because I have been on a kick recently with more muted colors; I like the sense of mystery they have, like they are hiding something and you have to almost swim through them to find the hidden meaning.


Anonymous said...

Pantone's color choice of the year is interesting, but it's frustrating at the same time. Is it blue? Is it purple? A question that always used to cross my mind whenever a FedEx truck passed by. It's never been a favorite color of mine, but I think matched with a lime/neon green could really compliment it well.

I've always looked at myself as a green kind of person. Recently, I've been loving a more "avocado" type green, maybe something like Pantone 583. It's a really versatile color, seeing as it would work great in a retro scene (being paired up with browns and oranges), but also in a more modern one (with cooler blues and grays) for a completely different feel.