Going Greenery: Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year
Earlier this month, the Pantone color team unveiled Greenery 15-0343, a crisp, spring-like warm green, as its color for 2017. The world-renowned authority on color described the shade as a “life-affirming, […] emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality.” As Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute Leatrice Eiseman stated, “Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment.”
For me, the color recalls barefoot backyard days in fresh-cut spring grass—the sights, smells and happy feelings of youth. Beyond inspiring nostalgic recollection, color has been shown to affect consumer behavior.
For example, used in consumer goods packaging, the color blue is considered to be a cross-cultural, cross-gender favorite. Red has been determined to stimulate sales when used in small amounts, but can turn off consumers when used too liberally. And while green is known to be a color that inspires relaxation, it is not considered a sales-stimulating hue. However, in the battle for consumer hearts and minds, there is a clear advantage to making a deeper emotional appeal with a brand’s color palette: While color alone may not have a measurable impact on brand or product success, it may promote some culturally connective tissue that affects an impression and inspires a positive emotional response.
For that, Pantone’s Greenery speaks to the enduring spirit of nature to thrive in defiance of our best efforts to supplant it. It helps to ground us in a universal reality, especially in a time when we need it.
I share Pantone’s enthusiasm for the positivity of Greenery and have already seen its influence on home decorating tips and major brands like Airbnb. I imagine we’ll see its use in product packaging, interior design, fashion ad nauseam as it continues to trend, but I look forward to seeing the innovative ways this color will be embraced by designers and brands alike.