It’s official. The 2013 Pantone color of the year is …. 17-5641. Or to those who are more visual … emerald. Pantone, the folks who brought us a way to organize our crayon boxes and make designers happy, ecstatically describes 17-5641:
“Lively. Radiant. Lush… A color of elegance and beauty
that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.”
I’m thinking of the Emerald City. The Emerald Isle. Green eggs and ham. The color of the field at Fenway Park. Kermit. Spring leaves, just unfurled. Priceless facets in the jeweler’s case.
PMS, Pantone Matching System. Nothing to do with the other PMS, though both can lead to colorful comments.
In my checkered past I studied oil painting. It was a brief fling in my teenaged years. The smell of turpentine can send me right back to Mrs. Stiles’ sun porch and the row of easels. She was a local artist in our small town, with the patience of a saint. Once a week after school, I’d mix it up with tubes of paint, brushes and palette.
Then later when I found myself between jobs, I filled in at my friend Amy Graver’s fabulous design studio, Elements, as studio manager. I had been managing creative projects for clients for years and hiring designers. I owned a PMS guide and loved flipping through the colors helping a client find the right hue for their logo. At Elements, it was fun being immersed full-time in color. It was serious business. We even chose Gerbera daisies for the conference table vases in a particular shade of red.
I’m really partial to the named colors. Like emerald. Or azure. Sienna brown. Burnt umber. Cerulean. Citron. I can picture it. And when I’m writing and the right word to describe the red that flames across the sky at sunset, it’s scarlet. Not a number.
Pantone understands that as well. They do pair names with the numbers, but that’s a more recent advancement. The 2012 color of the year was tangerine tango; 20.09 was mimosa.
But I’m happy for 17-5641. Color of the year. Coming soon to a scarf, shoe, book, paint near you.
Of course, Pantone is happy to sell you products in 17-5641 as well!