10 Best Colors of the Decade

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I love when companies develop brilliant PR moves – the type of relatively useless news that earns an obscene amount of brand exposure. It’s genius PR and brilliant marketing. Case in point: Pantone’s “Color of the Year.” Each year, Pantone designates a certain hue, and the media (as well as the graphic design community) eats it up in a frenzy. Pantone gets plenty of media coverage for its Color of the Year, and sites such as Behance go so far as to devote special galleries to it. Designers in fashion and home interiors follow suit.

And, of course, it’s not the “National Color of the Year” or the “Chinese Year of the Color Blue” – it’s the Pantone Color of the Year. Let’s take a look at the past decade of Pantone Colors of the Year, examine their reasoning, and offer our take.

2004: Tiger LilyView color»

The “hipness” and “exoticism” of orange were the determining factors for Tiger Lily. It was Leap Year, so yeah, this works.

2005: Blue TurquoiseView color»

As noted in the image, Pantone likes to balance its Colors of the Year by alternating energetic and calming colors. I would have liked another energetic hue here; 2005 was the year YouTube and other major game-changers were launched, spawning a new social-digital age.


2006: Sand DollarView color»

It’s neutral, almost gloomy, sure, but I think the association with “concern about the economy” is entirely ridiculous. Was the economy the first thing that came to mind when you first saw this color?


2007: Chili PepperView color»

I like this color selection, especially for the ethnic quality it represents because I believe it relates to the dawn of another trend: the global business collaborative market’s availability to small businesses and freelancers.


2008: Blue IrisView color»

Dependability and magic? Maybe, but I would have preferred something more “athletic” for the Summer Olympics – even if they were held in Beijing.


2009: MimosaView color»

Pantone sees innovation and reassurance. I see an alcohol-laden breakfast beverage. Enough of those, and maybe I’ll be innovative, too.


2010: TurquoiseView color»

I love the color and its relation to tropical waters, as the tropics are the best places on earth. But come on, Pantone, you just did blue turquoise five years ago!


2011: HoneysuckleView color»

I’m sure many readers will agree with Pantone’s assessment of honeysuckle; however, I find the color too subdued – almost bland – to be associated with the brightness of summer.


2012: Tangerine TangoView color»

Yes! A fun, bright color that’s perfect for summer and looks absolutely delicious! Plus, it’s unique (not just, say, honeysuckle), which lends a sense of excitement.


2013: EmeraldView color»

Wishful thinking?


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About the author

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Brian Morris writes for the PsPrint Design & Printing Blog. PsPrint is an online commercial printing company. Follow PsPrint on Twitter @PsPrint and Facebook.

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