Learn How the World Authority of Colour Become a Popular Culture Icon ⇒ Well, Pantone is widely recognised in the design world as the colour authority. They look to art, consumer products cars, technology, interior design, celebrities, and fashion to determine colour trends past and present. Since 2000, the experienced colour gurus at the Pantone Color Institute designate the “colour of the year” that sets the tone for the design industry. Their designation is the colour that they expect to be seen everywhere in the year to come. Today, CovetED takes a look back at how influential Pantone has become in the world of design and fashion
Twice a year the company hosts, in a European capital, a secret meeting of representatives from various nations’ colour standards groups. After two days of presentations and debate, they chose a colour for the following year; for example, in 2012, Pantone named Tangerine Tango the colour of the year, describing its choice as a spirited reddish orange which will provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward. This description speaks to a tumultuous economic time culturally, and the vibrancy we associate with orange psychologically.
Image Source: Pantone
The results of the meeting are published in the PANTONE Fashion Color Trend Report, and it is your easily accessible guide to the season’s most important colour trends.
The story of fashion is the story of colour. There is often a story, a painting, an artist, a mood and inspiration for why we pick the colours or use them in certain combinations. More than any other single factor, colours give a garment (and the person who wears it) an impact both visually and emotionally. A woman walking in a red dress tells a very different story than the same woman in pink.
Image Source: Pantone
Your dressing decisions don’t only influence what others think of you, but they influence what you think of yourself. At the same time, attitudes towards colour change all the time. Yellow may be a bold one season and tiring the next. However, fashion brands spend hours forecasting these changes so they can adapt and even outpace fickle colour trends. The result is that fashion leader’s end up setting colour trends.
Fashion designers embrace a simple truth when it comes to consumers and colour:
Seasons change. A lot. In order to keep up with fast-paced seasonal colour expectations, many brands added two new seasons “Resort” and “Pre-Fall” to its spring/summer and fall/winter calendar, This allows designers to experiment with colours and trends, extending popular looks into shoulder seasons that bleed from three-month runs to six-month shelf lives.
Image Source: Pantone
Considering that researchers have studied people’s reactions to colour for decades and that the only real conclusion they’ve agreed on is that one size never fits all, the addition of new seasons makes sense. The fashion industry has changed the calendar itself to satisfy as many customers as possible for as long as possible.
Colour is one of the most important design elements, if not the most important. Research from the Institute for Color Research reveals that people make a subconscious judgment about an environment or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing, and between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on colour alone. Whether intentional or not, colours give meaning to design. They spur emotions and express values. There are a few things to keep in mind when developing a colour strategy: psychology, culture, trends, and above all – context.
Signature Colours and the Style Setters Who Loved Them
Frank Sinatra: Happy orange What else?
Image Source: Time Magazine
Sinatra endures as one of the most influential vocalists of all time, but he’s also remembered as a style icon. He is remembered for many colourful things: his golden voice, his blue eyes and his black moods. But the actual hue he considered his personal favourite colour was bright sunny orange. “Orange is the happiest color,” he once said, and he splashed it everywhere. He favoured orange shirts, scarves and even bathing trunks.
Diana Vreeland: Woman in red
Image Source: Harper’s Bazaar
The influential fashion editor, who ruled the industry for five decades, was a passionate, extroverted risk-taker. She launched Twiggy’s career, sparked countless trends and recognised the offbeat beauty in unconventional style icons. “Red is the great clarifier- bright, cleansing, revealing. It makes all colors beautiful,” said Vreeland in the recent documentary Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel. “I can’t imagine being bored with it – it would be like becoming tired of the person you love.” Vreeland was known for her omnipresent red lips and nails and dramatic crimson outfits. But she was also known for her vibrant red living room, one of the most recognizable and iconic rooms in design history.
Mamie Eisenhower: First lady Pink
She was a popular first lady from 1953 to 1961, Pink was Mamie’s favourite colour and America quickly picked up on her palette. Picture the 1950s … pink Cadillacs … pink poodle skirts … and those ubiquitous pink ceramic-tiled bathrooms. MAMIE PINK; The iconic decorating colour of the 50s, arguably. Ubiquitous in fashion as well as bathrooms and kitchens.
Image Source: Realtor
The mid-century trend to pink seems to have come directly and irrefutably from Mamie Eisenhower. Pink was also her preferred hue for entertaining and decorating. Her own bathroom was pink down to the cotton balls, and after she and her husband moved into the White House, she redecorated the private quarters in her favourite colour; reporters at the time christened it the “Pink Palace.” Express yourself! The difference between having a favourite colour and a signature colour, It’s all in the expression — how you wear it or surround yourself with interesting and beautiful things in that hue.
Colours of Emotion
Colour is emotional, it can make a person light up a room or feel cosy at home. Colour is how (most of us) see the world and it can be the difference between if we love or hate something. It expresses emotion and personality. Perceptions of colour can be subjective, but some psychological effects of colour are universal. Warm colours like red, orange and yellow evoke emotions ranging from feelings of warmth and comfort to feelings of anger and hostility.
Image Source: Pantone
Cool colours like blue, purple and green are often described as calm, but can also call to mind feelings of sadness or indifference. Red is the only colour that will cause a measurable physiological reaction in your body – increasing your heart rate and blood pressure. Pink is actually thought to be the most calming of all colours. Interestingly, dangerous criminals are sometimes housed in pink cells as studies show certain hues of pink can calm aggression. But psychological aspects of colour are often generalized or oversimplified.
Some will say green represents nature, red should represent love, and blue is calming. These generalizations don’t always hold true when given context. Green can mean sick, red can represent danger and blue might symbolize depression in some contexts.
Colour & Culture
Colour is not completely agreed on universally and can appeal differently to individual countries. There are many aspects to colour, especially from a cultural standpoint that should be considered. Colours represent national or political groups, are often associated with religion, sports teams, schools or other prominent organisations. They can also be associated with holidays. It’s important to keep in mind the cultural context your colour palette will be viewed in. For example: In western cultures black is a colour of mourning, In Japan, however, it is a colour of honour, with white being the colour of mourning, Red in the west represents danger, love and passion. In India it is the colour of purity, in China, it is a colour of good luck and in South Africa, it is a colour of mourning. Yellow represents courage in Japan, mourning in Egypt and hope in the West.
Image Source: Information is Beautiful
Colour is a power which directly influences the soul. We live in a colourful world, take time to contemplate what colours resonate with you, make you happy, calm your nerves and energize you. Take advantage of the benefits that a colourful life has to offer.