Language of Color

Color of the Year Marsala

Where color is concerned, everyone has a strong opinion. “Baby Puke Green! You painted the showroom puke green!”, the red faced company president yelled out at me. And he was smiling, because the design community was loving it. The NeoCon product launch was a hit!

Color is risky business

Because color is so subjective, it can easily lead to difficult remarks like the one above. There are safe colors embedded in the brand if it is well established. What do you do when it’s a new campaign or a new brand? There are few safe places to hide. You have to choose the right colors; build a palette of shades that communicate the message. One of the easiest elements to understand in the language of color is the PANTONE Color System.  Their forecast colors add even more depth to your objective color choices. These forecasts help provide timely inspiration and emotional language that help you define your choices when you run into a subjective argument. Command of color theory is essential to the language of color but nothing is as much fun as the announcement of the coming year’s forecast colors.

PANTONE Color Institute recently announced Marsala as Color of the Year for 2015

PANTONE’s Spring and Fall color collections are a great way to tune design with the marketplace. Once you get familiar with them its hard to walk down the street without seeing their power everywhere. As a producer and creator, the challenge of realizing great ideas and superb execution, usually collides with deadlines. PANTONE is a fast track to color success and color objectivity. (This may post sound like an ad but is simply how I work and this tool is actually indispensable in my work as a creative director, photographer and developer.)

PANTONE Colors of Spring 2015

MarsalaAqua MarineScuba BlueLucite GreenClassic Blue

Toasted AlmondStrawberry IceTangarineCustardGlacier Grey


These yearly, Spring and Fall, collections top my favorite tools list. Every design project has a list of problems that can affect your momentum. What font, images, colors, concept will bring the message power and longevity? If you can quickly resolve a color palette for your project, then the ideas tend to flow.

A decades worth of PANTONE Colors of the year

201520142013201220112010

20092008200720062005
Color is inspiring and controversial. Color selection can be the difference between success and failure. With a confident color palette in hand, many of the subsequent choices become much easier to execute.


Color is something everyone responds to. Color speaks volumes but color’s appeal changes over time and season. Brand colors are easy, campaign colors are harder. Solving the color problems can be a bit like a school yard argument. I’m sure you know exactly what I mean. It’s great to have PANTONE at your side to help settle the situation.

Posted in Creative Direction, Customizing, Design, Development, Tools Tagged with: , , , , ,