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Pantone Tangerine Tango – What’s in a colour?

February 6, 2012

I’ve always thought colour theory very interesting… How colours have such a high impact on our wellbeing, our psychology and our attitude… Whether it’s the way the colours in an artwork lift our mood or send us into a state of melancholy, or how seeing a clear blue sunny sky can bring us out of the doldrums, or even the impact that living in an environment bereft of the calming green of trees can have on our emotional state. And all this simply refers to us moving through the world. Then there’s the global mega-machine that is colour forecasting…

Each year the global colour matching system, Pantone, releases its Colour of the Year. It is greatly anticipated by both the business sector and consumer. For companies who use colour as a key part of their product strategy, keeping within the mainstream of the pack is vital to being promoted in media and reaching the consumer. For the consumer, it’s something fun to look forward to and inspires change. It’s a known fact that the clothes we wear and the homes we live in greatly influence our emotion state. Putting on a brightly coloured shirt can lift our spirits, just as a lively feature wall can transform a space from lacklustre to wow!

Without debunking trends and where they come from (although, here’s a tip: we create them ourselves), it’s worthwhile taking a moment to look at the power that colour forecasting plays in western society. With Pantone touting Tangerine Tango (aka 17-1463 or 7625C) as the colour for 2012, we are going to see it everywhere. In fact, we already are. And, why not? It’s a fantastic colour – spicy, rich, fun, sassy and as Pantone says, “Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”

Trends would say that our spirits still need a lift due to the effects of the global financial crisis, the unabated concern of global warming, and the impact that seven billion people is having on the planet’s resources. Hence, all the colour blocking we’ve seen in products and fashion last year and it would seem that Tangerine Tango is here to help our mood in 2012 as we continue to face all these challenges.

I feel compelled to try a little experiment… Perhaps release one of my giclée prints in this deep orange and see where it lands… Would you buy a print solely based on it being printed in the ‘colour of 2012’, or because you like the depth of the story behind the artwork and the work itself? Or maybe you already love these giclée prints, but have been waiting for my departure back into colour?


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