An Interview with Blue Iris, Pantone’s Color of the Year

On December 10, 2007, Pantone, Inc. announced Blue Iris #18-3943 as the Pantone Color of the Year. Chosen to spend 2008 leading thousands of colors available in the Pantone universe, Blue Iris #18-3943 takes the honor is stride. Here are some highlights from a recent telephone interview:

When did you hear that you were chosen as the Pantone Color of the Year?

We don’t know until the public knows. I knew I was a finalist because execs at Pantone had been staring at my swatches, but I tried not to think about it until the announcement was made.

Were you surprised?

According to my agent. I had to be told twice, so yeah, I was surprised. At first I thought I was the Pantone color of the day, which is also a considerable honor.

Pantone calls you a “multifaceted hue reflecting the complexity of the world that surrounds us.” What does it feel like to hear comments like this?

I’m not allowed to blush because that would change my color, but if I was allowed I probably would.

Do you see the world as particularly complex?

I see the world as complex, but I also see this complexity as a result of how light manipulates cone cells in the retina. The world is a billion different things, yes, but if I ever get overwhelmed I just stop and think about how everything is just a variation of red, green, and blue.

Pantone says that emotionally you are “anchoring and meditative with a touch of magic.” Is this a fair representation of how you see yourself?

I can see how I may be perceived this way, but some of the colors I’ve dated might feel otherwise.

Are you dating anyone now?

I’m sorry I brought that up. I’d rather keep my personal life private.

Is it stressful to know that you must lead the color direction for 2008?

It is stressful, but I get a lot of advice from Chili Pepper #19-1557, who was the 2007 Pantone Color of the Year. Chili did a great job of bringing bold to the forefront, and I hope to do the same for whatever trend is coming.

What trend do you think is coming?

I think this is going to be a year of looking inward, of figuring out what style best represents who we want to be for ourselves, and not who we want to project for others. I think people are getting comfortable in their own skin, and this kind of quiet confidence will lend itself to good, clean, honest design, or crazy design that’s unapologetic about being crazy. This is the year of no hurt feelings, but also no apologies.

How did your friends react to the news that you were color of the year?

My friends think the honor is sort of funny. I’m the brunt of a few jokes right now.

Are they good jokes?

None that can be repeated here. [laughs]

Tobasco #18-1536 and Smoked Pearl #18-0000 have been at your side quite a bit lately. Are they impressed by the attention you are getting?

Basco and Pearl are my best friends. We trained together as crayons before coming to Pantone. The whole Pantone family is close and supportive. Even the ones who clash have a good time together. They’re not impressed by the attention, because they know, as I know, that to be a favorite color is to be something fleeting. The limelight doesn’t last … I mean, come on, it’s lime! Just kidding Limelight #12-0740! [laughs] Seriously, my friends make this fun. Our job is to keep each other humble. I can’t imagine being a color without them.

Chili Pepper Red Slip
Do you think the Internet photo scandal with Chili Pepper #19-1557 was –

No offense, but that subject is tired.

But with so much attention directed your way, do you feel as if you should behave with a bit more caution?

Chili is a pepper for God’s sake. Peppers are, by nature, bold, spicy, and outgoing. There’s nothing wrong with being who you are, in private or in public. 2008 is the year of quiet confidence. And during this year I will leave my house as the same color I am inside of it. I refuse to check my hue at the door.

You are very strong for a shade of blue. Do you train?

My father is a dependable blue and my mother is a deep purple. I get my strength from them.

What message do you hope to spread throughout your tenure as Pantone Color of the Year?

These are confusing times. So I promote stability, I stay calm, I enjoy the mystery, and I feed my spirit. To me, a healthy balance is everything. If following my example helps one person find some comfort inward, then I’ll consider my job done well.

PANTONE® is a registered trademark of Pantone, Inc.
This was an unauthorized interview.

Author: general eclectic