The Pursuit of Happiness: Color and the Stalled Economy

Green with envy. Seeing red. Feeling blue. Sound familiar? These frequently used expressions illustrate how powerfully color relates to our emotions. It has the potential to calm, enliven, soothe and even irritate. Considering the black shadow cast by the dire economy, it’s no wonder that color trend forecasters are predicting a stand out year for vivid, feel-good hues.

The Anti-Mellow Yellow
Pantone®, the global authority on color, selected Mimosa as the color of the year for 2009. The inviting, golden yellow is an energizing symbol of optimism and hope in times of economic uncertainty. Mimosa reflects “the warmth and nurturing qualities of the sun, properties we humans are drawn to for reassurance,” says Leatrice Eiseman, director of the Pantone Color Institute® in Seattle. Yellow is thought to spark imagination and innovation, making it a perfect choice for a halted economy in need of bright ideas to spark recovery. Our new First Lady was right on target with her choice of a pale gold dress during this year’s historic inauguration.

Come On, Get Happy
Pantone’s® 2009 spring and summer fashion trends also favor an increased chroma of color, moderated by grounded, neutral tones that address the need for stability. Purple advanced to the fashion forefront in late 2008, and continues to evolve this year. Lavender conveys a sense of creativity, refinement and calm. A fresh spectrum of bright greens perpetuates the idea of renewal and rebirth. Salmon Rose and Super Lemon bring a cheerful, positive outlook, while Fuchsia Red adds an air of everyday elegance.

A Brave New (Corporate) World
Color trends traditionally debut in the fashion industry, but this adventurous use of hue is popping up in the most unexpected of places. Large corporations are welcoming vibrant color in their identities, and are replacing traditional business palettes with radiant tints supported by stable, sophisticated neutrals. Business may be slow, but it certainly doesn’t have to be dull.

Fall Forecast: Bright with a Chance of Beige
Looking forward, Pantone’s® fall palette for this year offers much of the same uplifting vibrancy, but with a slightly subdued tone. The hopeful yellows, purples and greens of summer are carried through with richer shades that add surprising flair when paired with some of the classic neutrals of the season.

For more information on Pantone’s® fall color report, visit their website at http://www.pantone.com/pages/Pantone/Pantone.aspx?pg=20644&ca=4