Pantone "color of the year" 2000 – 2012

Last month Pantone announced Tangerine Tango as the “color of the year” for 2012. Executive director of Pantone Leatrice Eiseman described the hue as “sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive.” Great, but what made Tangerine Tango a better choice than Passionate Purple? Or Bombastic Blue? Or Requiem Red? Well according to Pantone, the chosen color is meant to act as a guide through which our culture’s current zeitgeist is being channeled.

For example, the color for 2011 was Honeysuckle. The reasoning came in its press release which stated that “in times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues.” The year 2011 was a bleak year for many in terms of business, employment, and the overall economy; splashing a wall with a coat of Honeysuckle then was hopefully a way to counteract the general bad vibes being felt by many. Or perhaps donning a Honeysuckle shirt for your job interview would boost your confidence and positivity. Pantone basically hoped that by somehow incorporating the color Honeysuckle into your life, you and those around you might lift your spirits.

These characteristics make a prime transition into the logic for 2012’s Tangerine Tango. Pantone justified their choice by stating that the color “continues to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.” Conscious of a continued struggle, Pantone is hoping again this year to aid people’s spirits with the power of a specific chroma.

So it seems that while of course giving the fashion and product industry a base to begin designing around, the duty of selecting a “color of the year” revolves mostly around contributing to cultural well-being. Below are Pantone’s “color of the year” selections dating back to the year 2000. Do you feel Pantone was accurate in portraying the general cultural mood for these past years?