According to color supplier Pantone®, the color of 2008 is Blue Iris. The blue is a radiant, calming hue, dark, but not dark enough to be in the realm of navy, and is a sharp contrast to the 2007 choice, Chili Pepper Red.
"From a color forecasting perspective, we have chosen PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris as the color of the year, as it best represents color direction in 2008 for fashion, cosmetics and home products," explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. "As a reflection of the times, Blue Iris brings together the dependable aspect of blue, underscored by a strong, soul-searching purple cast."
Pantone has chosen some form of blue for Color of the Year in 2000, 2003, and 2005. Now, Blue Iris is it in 2008.
Other professionals disagree with Pantone’s choice. Margaret Walsh, director of the Color Association, says her color of 2008 is bamboo. She believes the strong green, hinted with yellow, represents the changing social desire to be more environmentally clean.
“My color for 2008 is bamboo.” A yellowed green, chosen from the association’s interior palette, she said, it “represents the stable green that is most on people’s minds.” She said it’s similar to a hue called Vineyard, adding: “I feel it just has a power. You know, these are very insecure times.”
Pantone's Color of the Year Is...
The continued trend of ecological awareness has caused many companies to re-brand themselves as “green”, changing their logos and advertisements to suggest an earth-friendly business design. All of this green loving may have turned customers off to the color. After all, familiarity breeds contempt.
Pantone certainly believes customers are tired of green. But this reaction may or may not be true among consumers. According to the New York Times, fashion designers also seem to be using a fair amount of blues recently in their recent runway work.
There has indeed been a surge of blue on the runways in the last year, beginning last February with Raf Simons’s dresses and pantsuits, in an Yves Klein blue, for Jil Sander and extending into the spring 2008 collections with Nicolas Ghesquiere’s explosive floral prints for Balenciaga. Mr. Elbaz used a deep lagoon blue in his spring Lanvin show, and one found lighter but no less robust shades in collections by Marni and Chloé, and in the men’s lines of Prada and Alexander McQueen. Dolce & Gabbana called its new fragrance Light Blue. And JWT, the advertising and marketing company, just named blue as one of the top 10 trends for 2008, saying that “blue is the new green,” particularly as it denotes ecological concerns.
So, perhaps, Pantone is correct and Blue Iris will be the color of 2008. But, it’s hard to believe a company that’s worked so hard to copyright most of its palettes is announcing Color of the Year for purely artistic reasons.
Trends are just that. Even though Pantone has chosen a shade of blue, each one darker than the last, four out of the last eight years, there’s no reason to focus on the varying shades of blue unless the artistic message would concretely benefit from those colors.
Ecological concern is becoming more mainstream in our culture, and this increased global awareness has lead several designers to use greens and blues to convey a sense of nature. With so many logos adopting these colors, it has become difficult to stand out of the crowd, or even
know which brands are sincere in their efforts.
Of course the two major colors of Earth are blue and green, and will be classic, representative colors, hopefully, for a long time. As designers, however, the aim is often to associate non-connected colors to carefully constructed mediums to create a visual metaphor.
Colors convey emotions, sense perceptions, and like this image, even link ideas together to form interesting arguments without ever saying a single word.
Blue and green are excellent colors, and they pair well with one another. I’m sure the professionals that study color trends know more than I do about the direction color is heading. As an artist, however, there is a deep-seeded belief that wants to rebel against mainstream ideas and icons. Colors that easily become accepted metaphors without the aid of outside visual stimulus are useful in society. Breaking down familiar metaphors to establish new forms, and to continue to challenge the boundaries of culture is also necessary to avoid becoming stagnant.
No matter the color of the year, follow honest, intuitive ideas. Trends come and go. Passionate art is potentially infinite.