Color energizes and connects us

Posted by & filed under Branding, Life, Tips of the Trade, Work.

I like to capture the seasons in my home. This weekend, I was bringing out glass balls to catch spring’s light (the weather was wonderful!) tucking dappled wooden eggs in baskets, and putting away an evergreen tree theme that hung around after the Holidays. I realized that this new color palette was energizing and by making fewer than a dozen changes, I had reset my surroundings and my frame of mind. Ah, the power of color.

Over the years, I’ve come to learn that color definitely affects how we react to companies and their brands. Think National Geographic’s yellow cover, Tiffany’s blue box, Starbucks’ green and all the myriad sports teams branded with specific colors. Just the color evokes thoughts of a company or team.
This recent article, How Pantone Changed the Way We Think About Color caught my attention. You’ve likely heard of Pantone Matching System (PMS), a color system for the graphic design industry. Initially it had 10 standardized colors. Today there are more than 10,000. Pantone also creates color standards for the fashion and interiors industry and issues color trend forecasting guides. The company has moved beyond the science of standardizing specific hues and now uses color psychologists who describe how colors make us feel.

Each December, Pantone chooses a color palette, setting the trend for the following year. So, what are this year’s colors? Rose Quartz (PMS 13-1520) is the 2016 color of the year, complemented by Serenity (PMS 15-3919). Here’s Pantone’s description: “Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and balance.”

Since then, I’ve seen the colors on a variety of items: pillows, dishes and dresses. We’ve even used Rose Quartz and Serenity for this year’s 4J handbook design. Where have you spotted them?

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Liz Cawood

Liz Cawood


Liz’s creative outlet is writing – and gardening. She’s dabbled in fabric arts and done a few oils, and even did some rock painting for “Flood the Streets with Art” last November. She’s a voracious consumer of content and enjoys the mental gymnastics of playing with ideas.