Why Emerald Green Is Pantone’s New Color Of The Year

Perrie Samotin

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Another year, another color to live by. Or so says global color authority Pantone, who officially deemed Emerald as 2013’s Color of the Year, citing its ability to offer “clarity, renewal and rejuvenation.” The hue will replace last year’s shade, Tangerine Tango.

“Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute said in a release issued by the company Wednesday night.

“Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. This powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors.” This is the first shade of green to be chosen since the Color of the Year initiative began in 2000.

What this means for you: Probably, that you’ll see a slight uptick in emerald green clothing in stores (designers such as Tracy Reese, Akris, Marni, Nanette Lepore and Marimekko featured the shade heavily in their spring collections), and possibly on the faces and nails of your friends, if only because Pantone teamed up with Sephora to produce an emerald collection which will including eye shadow, nail polish and accessories.

Exactly how influential Pantone’s annual choices turn out to be are up for debate, as the L.A. Times pointed out that color forecasters, manufacturers and buyers do put some stock in the selection, if anything because the announcement has become something of a marketing juggernaut unto itself. It should be noted that Pantone will be releasing an emerald-hued home decor line at JC Penney in February.

How Pantone decides the color of the year: To arrive at the selection, Pantone factors in color influences seen throughout the entertainment industry and films that are in production, traveling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Influences also may stem from things like technology, availability of new textures and effects that impact color, and even upcoming sports events that capture the world’s attention.

Discreet color forecast meetings are held at Pantone’s New Jersey-based headquarters all year, until a committee makes a decision based on their own personal travels, observations, and visions for the future.

What, no gray? When we heard the news that green was chosen, we couldn’t help wonder: What about gray, the shade that sparked the biggest mass-market literary craze since “Twilight,” and even inspired an unlikely lipstick trend?  “Gray was not even a contender,” Eiseman told TODAY.com, adding that the shade “is not evocative of what people are telling us they long for.”

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