Spring 2017
From Chaos Comes Rebirth By Sarah Schwartz

Keep displays and windows fresh throughout the year using these 10 palettes as a guide.

Most of us are already acquainted with Greenery, Pantone’s Color of Year for 2017. Evoking flourishing foliage and the lush escape offered by the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery reminds us all to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.

Greenery elicits a far different reaction that the last green Pantone selected as its Color of the Year, 2013’s Emerald. “Greenery has more of a yellow base — it is a fresher version of green, one that speaks to regeneration, renewal and ‘turning over a new leaf,’” observed Leatrice Eiseman, executive director at the Pantone Color Institute. “It’s less formal than Emerald, a bit earthier and one that attaches itself to the concept of nature. Green (itself) is beyond trend — it is (about) lifestyle changes as people are more aware of eating healthy, exercising more and certainly more concerned about climate change.”

Equally important, this tone also amplifies a real need for “harmony in a chaotic world,” emphasized Eiseman, who is also director for Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training. “Greenery bursts forth to provide us with hope amid a complex social and political landscape. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate, revitalize and unite, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.”

10 pleasing palettes

To help creatives across the board decide how to present Greenery, Pantone has unveiled 10 color palettes in which to highlight this versatile, “trans-seasonal” shade. Taken as a group, they incorporate not only neutrals, but brights, deeper shades, pastels, metallics and even the still-important Colors of the Year 2016, Rose Quartz and Serenity.

In the hands of an able retailer, these palettes offer a blueprint for at least a year’s worth of engaging displays and windows. The same product can be repurposed and regrouped to create an entirely new mood. “Each mood will change depending on the variation of the colors (as well as) the intensity, value or contrast of the color,” Eiseman explained. “When a specific shade is placed within a palette, it is because that is what works best for the mood you are trying to attain. Occasionally there are surprise, or unexpected color combinations that can add some whimsy and are attention-getting, but that depends on the skill of the designer. Our forecasts are meant to be a guideline to anyone working with color.”

As to which palette is strongest for 2017, “there is no magic bullet answer about what colors to use or not,” Eiseman underlined. “Color depends on context — how and where they are used, for what purpose, who is the target audience and again, what mood are you trying to create that will appeal emotionally to the intended consumer.”

Eiseman also described Greenery as pairing exceptionally well with several tones in particular. “Greenery and purple — all variations of that color family continue to fascinate people. It is two complex colors used together, making for an intriguing combination. Greenery and turquoise blues is always a crowd pleaser, and greens used monochromatically with other greens is always interesting.”

One thing is for sure: Greenery won’t wilt any time soon, Eiseman finished. “Because there is such an attachment to all the social and health implications mentioned above, I don’t see Greenery disappearing in 2018. It will have a long shelf life.”


Sarah Schwartz

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