It’s been more than a decade now that Pantone is selecting the color of the year. After careful research, the color of the year becomes increasingly important in product design and retail strategies used by both retailers and brands seeking shelf spaces with major retailers.
Part trend and part marketing tool, the color ends up being featured in a wide range of applications ranging from product design to Architecture, clothing, and food.
This Year Pantone is focusing on Green (Pantone 15-0343 to be precise). The environment theme is not particularly new, but it seems it has reached a status level that is more than curiosity or a fading trend. It encompasses wider applications from the tiny house concept to living mindfully in a time where climate change is turning into more than Symposium debates and into actionable positive behaviors, but also dividing social landscape and political speeches.
I don’t know about you, but I find myself turning into natural design to find inner peace and recharge to go back into a world constantly connected where over-stimulation seems to be everywhere. By getting away from technology, green tends to be associated with minimalism. This is a concept revisited by H&M, using recycled material to be featured in a clothing line.
I took the opportunity to ask three questions to Reiko Morrison from BLINK-iD on this topic. Reiko is a seasoned expert in Colors, Materials, and Finishes of Product Design and Queen of CFM (Color Form, Material) Design. She is responsible for many great products design for global brands such as Microsoft, HTC, T-Mobile, Western Digital, Belkin, Harman/Kardon, Infinity, JBL, LEGO, Volvo, BMW/DesignworksUSA, and much more:
L+B: The Pantone color of the year is aimed at helping both consumers and professionals, to discern what is in term of color and trends, how effective do you think it resonates with end-users or customers?
RM: “I think anytime Pantone issues a color of the year, their goal is to target the mass market, so I believe they have a good sense of the colors that end users and consumers are attracted to. This fresh yellow-green aligns well with the trends and significant socio-cultural movements I see now. Sustainability is still going strong. The drought in California has people longing for green. Anytime we are deprived of something we love, we want it even more, it’s human nature.”
L+B: Do you think consumer’s emotional purchases can be swayed only by a color choice?
RM: “I do think consumer’s emotional purchases can be swayed by a color choice, this is one reason why basic t-shirts at Target are such a huge success. You walk into the store, and the first thing you see are beautiful colored t-shirts, and it is hard to resist buying one!”
L+B: Why are color trends so important in retail?
RM: “Studies suggest that people make a subconscious judgment about a product’s visual appearance within 90 seconds of initial viewing and up to 90% of that assessment is based on color alone. Therefore, color is a powerful marketing tool. Color attracts attention and creates brand recognition.”