Greenery: Pantone’s Color of the Year Forecasts Hope for 2017

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Greenery: Pantone’s Color of the Year Forecasts Hope for 2017 "March 8, 2017
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After a rough 2016, Pantone predicts a hopeful New Year of Greenery.

Earlier this month, the Pantone Institute announced “Greenery” as its 2017 Color of the Year. Pantone describes Greenery as a “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade” that is “refreshing, revitalizing” and “symbolic of new beginnings.”

Video and header image: Pantone

Greenery reflects a desire to retreat from turmoil and seek refuge in nature; to simplify life in order to regenerate, restore, and recalibrate. And after a year reported as one of the worst in recent history, many of us are looking for any source of hope and rejuvenation that we can get. The idea of a new beginning—or new hope for the future—is appealing.

As we explored in an earlier blog post, color influences our emotions in a number of ways and strongly impacts a designer’s ability to evoke a particular mood, feeling, or message in their work. With this in mind, I was curious to follow up with members of PCI’s design team to get their take on Greenery—if they’re surprised by the choice, how they’re reacting to the verdant hue, and if they think another color would align better with our collective search for optimism right now. Their perspectives were diverse but harmonious.

For Collin Brideau, Design Intern at PCI, Pantone’s 2017 pick was not surprising. The bright Greenery certainly brings the spring season to mind, and the natural renewal of our world that comes with it. “After a year that has challenged us all in so many unexpected ways, a lot of us have been left wanting 2016 to just be over with already,” says Collin. “So it’s only fitting that Pantone’s color prediction encourages us to look forward, to anticipate a future of renewed hope.”

Art Director Clark Fairfield wasn’t surprised either—the 2017 Pantone pick fell within a family of nature-inspired hues that he predicted would become popular in the New Year. Before Pantone’s official unveiling of Greenery, Clark forecasted that a warm, uplifting peach color might be a strong contender for 2017 Color of the Year, for reasons similar to those behind Pantone’s selection of Greenery. “2016 was a harsh year for so many people,” explains Clark. “It seemed natural that people would gravitate towards the softness that peach embodies.” He then added: “Peach is a color that conveys warmth and positivity (you can describe a person or situation as ‘peachy’, after all), so I still suspect we might see notes of peach in fashion, design, and branding as we kick off the New Year.”

When I approached Graphic Designer Ryan King for his thoughts on Greenery, his feedback focused more on trends in general, color or otherwise. Similar to the advice that Director of Design Linda Lam gave in her recent logo trend forecast for 2017, Ryan acknowledges that it’s important for designers to be aware of current and upcoming trends, but cautions designers not to lose themselves in the excitement of what’s popular at any given moment. “One of our greatest responsibilities as designers is to create uniqueness and authenticity,” says Ryan. “Trend awareness is utterly important, but it’s just as important to find opportunities to go the other way. Brands depend on differentiation to create recognition and build upon their equity.”

To sum up our feelings towards Pantone’s pick for 2017 Color of the Year: it’s a color that promises greener pastures, so it makes sense that it would appeal to the masses at the end of a tough year. There’s no doubt that we’ll see a lot of Greenery in 2017, so if you decide to embrace the color in your upcoming design or marketing projects, make sure to differentiate yourself and not get lost in the sea of green; keep your long-term objectives in mind to carry your brand into 2017 and beyond.

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What do you think of Greenery? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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