Pantone’s Color of the Year and Its Affect on Your Business

As the rest of us hunker down into the winter solstice—that cold, grey and shortest day of the year—the Pantone Color Institute just threw a splash of a party by announcing Living Coral as it’s 2019 Color of the Year. My Christmas cactus hits the tone perfectly (although this year it did Thanksgiving so we’ll have to nix the “living” part).

Pantone is a standardized color matching system. It originated specifically for the graphics industry but now you find it everywhere from fashion to furnishings. Each December, after extensive research, the Pantone Color Institute forecasts what color will bombard us in the upcoming year. They’re usually spot on.

As a designer, I find Pantone’s Color Intelligence invaluable. While I’m certainly not trendy in a fickle sense—after all, communicating my clients should not be based solely on the next 365 days—I do need to be aware of color and how it permeates our human thinking. For example, in 2016 I did a logo and website for The Blogging Bee, a one-time workshop for quilters. Research told me the average quilter is female and regularly updates her already extensive stash of fabric. Of course, she’s on top of color trends. So, of course, I used Pantone’s 2016 Color of the Year.

More recently I did an advertisement for The Cider Farm and it’s release of its 5-year-aged apple brandy. With 14,000 trees growing organically on 160 acres of Wisconsin farmland, you can bet no one’s thinking about colors of the year. Co-owner Deirdre Birmingham described their business as authentic, sophisticated and consistent. Their standards are inspired by European and American traditions. Given this, the strong, earthy tones of their brand are a perfect choice.

There’s a reason the Pantone Color Institute and designers put so much thought into color. Color affects our emotions, responses, behaviors…goodness, it even evokes perceptions to the taste of our food!

As you brand your business, what are your color ideas? Give me a jingle if you need some help!

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