Pantone: Blue Iris Is Color of 2008

Posted on 12/24/2007 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Pantone, the New Jersey company known as the design industry's color authority, has selected its 18-3943 Blue Iris as the color of the year for 2008. The company says the purplish blue combines the stability and calm of blue with the mysticism and spirituality of purple, resulting in a hue that is both reassuring and exciting.According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, the color is a reflection of the times, dependable yet soul-searching. She predicts combinations with deeper plums, red-browns, yellow-greens, grapes and grays will be popular.

Beyond publicity for Pantone, is there any practical value to the concept of color of the year? While the fashion and cosmetic industries swear by Pantone forecasts, other color professionals are more skeptical.

Margaret Walch, director of the 92-year-old Color Association of the United States, doesn't think the exercise is valid or reliable. Walch points to "green as a more relevant color [than Iris blue] in 2007 and for 2008, as it establishes the mind-set of most Americans-on the environment and our own stability for healthy growth." For photography in particular, she highlights mid-value grays: "In photography and many other fields where neutral rather than chromatic color is the issue... grays are replacing browns in their relevance and prevalence in 2008 through 2010."

The New York-based CAUS publishes its own color trend forecasts, determined by a panel expert in color styling, use and research, as well as marketing and merchandising. The forecasts are available on the CAUS Web site and endeavor to provide a working harmonious palette for use by apparel, interior and design industries. However, CAUS cautions that the information presented needs to be used in context. Some colors are always in demand, and factors like income and subjective taste affect the decisions of marketers and consumers alike.

Color preferences are also impacted by markets and cultures. Behr, a leading California-based paint manufacturer, says that color preferences vary significantly from one country to the next. Mexico's color scheme is a never-ending rainbow, while Japan's palette consists of neutral browns. China favors red for its association with good luck.

For those interested in practical applications of color trends, particularly in the publishing industry, COLOURlovers is an online resource that features the color palettes of popular magazine titles. Other features of the Web site include community forums, interviews with leaders in the field and a blog about color trends.

Copyright © 2007 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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