Honeysuckle – That Color is SO 2011

I know we’re all waiting with anticipation for Pantone to announce their choice for the 2012 Color of the Year. It happens each year around this time but before it does, I wanted to look back to see how accurate their prediction was for this year’s color, Honeysuckle (Pantone 18-2120).

Who Determines Color Trends

You may not know that color trends are influenced by many factors including technology, the entertainment industry, current socioeconomic conditions, lifestyle trends, and consumer desires. Everyone knows what colors come to mind when thinking of the 1950s. For example, following years of war in the 1940s, when color schemes ran stoically to browns and grays, consumers of the 1950s were eager to embrace the optimistic, atomic age-inspired vibrancy of palettes rich in bright pink, sea-foam green and turquoise blue. Color trends roughly ebb and flow by decades but also occur by individual years or seasons.

No one group decrees that a particular color is ‘in,’ but organizations such as Color Marketing Group monitor the consumer zeitgeist and identify the direction of color trends. They are very adept at forecasting trends for everything from the color of bed sheets to automobiles to house paint to nail polish. Color trends often start on the runways of Paris and New York and trickle down from there. Pantone, the world-renowned authority on color and color systems, also surveys a multitude of industries and forecasts a color choice each year.

How Accurate Were They

Pantone’s website states that Honeysuckle, 2011 Color of the Year, is “…a confident color that emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. A dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life.” All that and all I had to do was buy a pink shirt, excuse me, Honeysuckle. But it turns out that Pantone, as usual, has its finger on the pulse of today’s consumer. The internet is bursting with examples of Honeysuckle and pink-inspired hues appearing on runways, in weddings and even on the shelves at my local Target store, as I documented below.

It will be interesting to see which hue the color prognosticators choose for 2012. I’ll bet you didn’t even know you wanted a pink shirt this year, excuse me, Honeysuckle.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Honeysuckle – That Color is SO 2011

  1. It never occurred to me that the burst of colors of ordinary things was a direct results of the drab colors of WWII. That must explain the avocado toilets and pink lawn flamingos and how well I remember my mother’s pink and yellow Bakelite dishes.

    • Paul Sanderson

      Yes, the country was in the mood for something to lift their spirits and the colors synonymous with the 50s and 60s did just that. The bright colors also symbolized “the future,” which was a prominent theme of the time after the splitting of the atom and the beginning of the space race after the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957.

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