From the Design Desk

From the Design Desk: Pantone’s Color of the Year

Courtesy of Pantone

Pantone announced its 2017 Color of the Year on Dec. 8. The color, "Greenery," is meant to symbolize nature and fresh beginnings.

Pantone recently debuted its Color of the Year for 2017: Greenery.

Pantone, known primarily for its color matching system, made the announcement last Thursday, calling it “symbolic of new beginnings” and an “omnipresent hue around the world.” The company brands the Color of the Year as a symbolic color selection, one that executive director Leatrice Eiseman says must “resonate around the world.”

Here’s what The Daily Orange design team has to say about “Greenery” as Pantone’s Color of the Year.

Emma Comtois: While I appreciate the message behind “Greenery,” Pantone could have selected a better shade of green. “Refreshing and revitalizing” are good buzz words, especially at a time when there is so much uncertainty in regard to the political landscape. However, the happy shade seems really forced at a time when a lot of the United States is nervous about what the future holds. It makes sense to use a yellow-toned green to represent rejuvenation and growth, but a darker version would have had the same message while also taking into account the country’s current mood. I always gravitate toward more hunter green shades so this is not my favorite Pantone green, but it does embody the message Pantone wanted to get across. I am looking forward to seeing if this color is a real predictor of what kind of year 2017 will be.

Ali Harford: Pantone describes “Greenery” as a “refreshing and revitalizing shade,” which honestly, after the mess that was 2016, we really need. So it’s good in concept, but I’m not crazy about this color. When I think of “Greenery,” I think of deeper, more earthy greens. This is like the color of peas. It’s like they were trying to go for a mint green but missed, and it’s kind of unsettling to me if I look at it for a while. I’m excited to see what 2017 holds for the fashion and art industries that will pull inspiration from this color, but if I were a fashion designer right now I’d be wondering how to turn a color that looks like a waxy crayon into something worth presenting.

Andy Mendes: “Greenery” is all of 2016’s weird food trends rolled up into one color. When I look at “Greenery,” all I see are avocado toasts, kale chips and fresh-squeezed spinach juices, which, don’t get me wrong, may be delicious, but aren’t exactly what I want to see in a color. I would have liked to see a slightly bolder and stronger shade of green, but I think Pantone made a good call in picking a more neutral color, as this particular yellow-green shade fits beautifully in a lot of color palettes. While I do think the phrase “Greenery is the symbol of new beginnings and renewal” is a little cheesy, cheesy messages might just be what helps us get 2017 off to a better start.

Lucy Naland: “Greenery” isn’t my favorite shade of green, but I think it’s an intelligent choice to carry us into the new year. It’s bright and fresh, and beautifully sums up the many eco-friendly movements that have crescendoed over the past months. It is minimalistic, natural and above all, bipartisan, which also makes reference to the tense political climate the country is currently steeped in. While I do prefer my greens to be darker and milder, the yellow pigment in “Greenery” succeeds in reflecting the hope many hold for the coming year.

Clare Ramirez: The word “Greenery” sounds more like a place to store exotic plants than it does a color swatch. But weird naming aside, I’m actually not too crazy about the color. While in theory I do like what Pantone is going for in terms of returning to naturalistic roots — the company calls “Greenery” “emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality” — the color is a little too bright for me and, to be frank, reminds me of broccoli stems or Kermit the Frog. Maybe if the yellow value was decreased a bit to create a deeper green, I could be on board. But personally, I prefer a color that doesn’t closely resemble the salad I ate for lunch.

Kiran Ramsey: Pantone couldn’t have picked a better “Color of the Year” for 2017. The crew at Pantone knows that the world is so over this year. If you lived under a rock and weren’t aware of how awful this past year was, just watch John Oliver’s “F*ck You, 2016” sketch to catch up.
Pantone seemed to recognize the world’s collective exhaustion and emerged with a color soft and rejuvenating to represent the coming year. “Greenery” is bright, but not intense. It’s muted, but not somber. It’s a true balance between bold and subdued. Around the world, people are unsure of what lies ahead in 2017. In general, green symbolizes balance, renewal and harmony. I think we all could use a little bit of that in 2017.

Jordana Rubin: For a visual concept that’s supposed to be a reflection of nature, the color “greenery” feels somewhat unnatural. The yellow undertones remind me more of a green apple Jolly Rancher than they do of any tree or trendy house plant I’ve ever seen. Much like the color itself, the idea that greenery is supposed to be a reflection of this year feels unnatural. As much as I appreciate the green lantern of hope Pantone wants to provide, 2016 was a year that was as ugly as it was revolutionary. Therefore, I was surprised and disappointed that for a year of so many new ideas and changes, Pantone selected and renamed an existing color from their library to be named Color of the Year.

Rori Sachs: “Greenery” is stuck between uplifting and melancholic, and can’t decide which way to go. Is it a dark mysterious forest green, or an uplifting butter lettuce green? Every time I look at it, the shade seems to shift. It’s cleverly dependent on the context and which colors it is placed with. Maybe this is representative of the greater political climate in the U.S., or maybe it was just time for Pantone to introduce a color other than a hue of red or blue to its collection.


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