Today is a bit like the Academy Awards for colour as Pantone announced their Colour of the Year for 2012. Who took home the top prize? Meet ‘Tangerine Tango‘ otherwise known as PANTONE 17-1463. An exotic and provocative reddish-orange with what feels like a pink undertone, this hue is anything but subtle. The inspiration for Pantone’s Colour of the Year is found across every avenue of design, technology, style, sport and world events. The economic and world uncertainty was captured in a series of more dark and muted colours over the last decade but in 2009, more optimistic hues took the spotlight as consumers looked for positivity and encouragement in products and clothing. Last year the colour was a summery coral-pink named ‘Honeysuckle’ that “encouraged us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor” and this year’s Tangerine Tango continues the trend of warm, uplifting hues with a tropical soul that is meant to “provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward”.
Orange in general has grown wildly in popularity and the Spring 2012 Fashion Weeks demonstrated that trend as it was a focal point in many collections. Orange seems to be all over furniture, branding, retail design and homewares as well. I’ve never met a boring person who’s favourite colour is orange. They have been, without exception, the most creative and intriguing individuals you could ever come across. Do a short ‘favourite colour’ survey at your upcoming holiday parties – I guarantee the orange-lover will be the most interesting! My grandmother had a completely Tangerine Tango apartment and I thought it was the most magical place ever. According to colour theory, orange is the hue of creativity and stimulates creative thought. That might explain why so many innovators and creative types love it so much (and why I could have sat and coloured in my grandmother’s apartment for days on end). It looks like she was about 20 years ahead of her time with her obsession with Tangerine Tango!
Oops – I digress from the Pantone Colour of the Year. I think Tangerine Tango is a bold choice and a great one. It is not a safe pick as orange is a pretty polarizing hue – you either love it or hate it. But I think it captures the recent trend and love affair with orange perfectly. It truly has been ubiquitous and it looks like that will continue far into summer. It is undeniably uplifting and positive. I love how designers have mixed the colour with neutrals, neons, and bold dashes of jewel tones. I also love the Tangerine Tango seems to have a pink element undertone to it. It can easily be softened into a sherbet colour or kept bold and neon-like. You may have preconceived notions about orange but maybe give it a try in 2012. Perhaps we won’t all be rocking a Tangerine Tango dress or lipstick shade but you could try a bag, shirt with an orange collar, throw cushion, jar of flowers or maybe just a random desk accessory. It’s a happy-inducing and creative colour and that’s pretty good goal for the year ahead.
Oh, I also love Pantone’s description of their Colour of the Year: “Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it. Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, 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.”