The Pantone Color of the Year represents a certain rejuvenation. It is the annual announcement that wipes this year’s color slate clean and forecasts what shade will refresh the design world in the year ahead.
Incidentally, that’s exactly what the 2017 Color of the Year represents: refreshment, rejuvenation and rebirth, according to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. This year’s youthful hue is also grounded enough to be neutral against the many other storied shades we have a history of loving.
What color could possibly pull all of it off? It’s called Greenery.SLXLM
“This shade of green is different from what we’ve ever done as color of the year before,” says Eiseman. “We love that feeling of newness, of realigning yourself and revitalizing yourself. A really important aspect is that the color has vibrancy and a little bit of brightness.”
Pantone has chosen greens in the past for Color of the Year, but never one as bright as Greenery, which is meant to evoke thoughts of flourishing foliage and, in turn, fresh beginnings. In 2013, the Color of the Year was Emerald, and in 2010, the green-blue Turquoise, but both hues were darker and more subdued than this year’s color of choice.
“The person who would adapt this color is the person who might be thinking, I need some change, something new and something fresh,” says Eiseman.”‘Rejuvenate,’ ‘revitalize’ and ‘reassurance’ are all the things we look for in a very complex social and political environment.”
Despite its yellow-green brightness, however, Greenery serves as an unexpected universal base for a plethora of other colors.
“There’s an understanding, now, that you can use green as a neutral color, just as mother nature does,” says Eiseman. “With any flower that pops out of the earth, you never say, ‘Oh, that can’t go against green’.”
Take, for example, these three very different color schemes built around Greenery:
(This color scheme incorporates last year’s two colors of the year: Rose Quartz and Serenity.)
Pretty refreshing, right? Here’s how the three palettes come together against the same Greenery wall:
Greenery has had a fascinating history throughout the 19th century and, now, the 20thcentury. According to Eiseman, the spirited shade first debuted in the ’20s, when women started making more daring fashion choices and Greenery appeared on the cover of a Vogue pattern book.
The hue disappeared when the United States went into recession in the ’30s, followed by war in the ’40s, a time when resources for colors were sent away for use in the military. It wasn’t until the ’60s that bold colors returned with a splash, and after the publication of “Silent Spring” by Rachel Charleston in 1962, bright green was heralded as beacon of environmental friendliness into the ’70s.