The Pantone website states that the Colour of the Year is a symbolic colour selection; a colour snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.
For 2017, the chosen colour is Greenery (15-0343). This is a refreshing and revitalising shade and is symbolic of new beginnings. It is described as “tangy yellow-green” often seen in foliage. It speaks to our need to explore, experiment and reinvent.
Pantone has been choosing a colour every year since 2000 that reflects the current cultural climate. In the following year, the colour has historically influenced trends in all facets of design including architecture, interior décor, fashion, food, beauty, travel and graphic design.
Why was Greenery chosen?
Leatrice Eiseman is the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute and Charlotte Luxford, Home and Design Editor recently asked her, “What had influenced her choice?” Her answer is illuminating and explicit.
“The Pantone team is dedicated to doing its homework. It’s always in your peripheral vision so-to-speak – as I travel, my eye picks up on interesting usage of color and I started to see Greenery in pop culture, even in stage lighting and then in film. There has been a much greater usage of green lately – we are definitely seeing it in fashion’s spring and summer collections for next year, which of course is a big influence.”
The film, Doctor Strange was very influential
“The best example, however, is the Benedict Cumberbatch film, Doctor Strange. In the movie he wears a green amulet and there’s actually a green that’s used as a special effect in the film. My husband is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) so we get a huge number of films every year through so that he can judge them and vote for them, and the moment I saw the publicity release I noticed the use of green.”
Reconnection with nature
“Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalise, Greenery symbolises the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.”
She went on to add, “Through its reassuring yet assertive vibrancy, Greenery offers us self-assurance and boldness to live life on our own terms, during a time when we are redefining what makes us successful and happy.”
A neutral shade with lots of possibilities
Pantone calls Greenery, “Nature’s neutral”—a hue more prominently worn during spring and summer, but one they encourage people to wear as a statement colour all year round.
It’s a colour that symbolises:
- A New Year
- Vegetarian Trends
Have you ever wondered why “Red” and “Green” are regarded as traditional Christmas colours? Is it because of historical or religious reasons or is it purely down to nature? There does seem to be evidence to support all three.
Red and Green
Both colours have a long and rich history rooted in both paganism and Christianity. Back in Roman times, wreaths of green foliage were woven and hung on doors and walls in honour of Saturn, the god of agriculture. This took place from17th to 25th of December, a time which was dedicated as a special holiday. Early Christians put a more spiritual emphasis on this holiday period and renamed it Christmas as a mass for Christ with red becoming the sacred colour associated with Christ’s sacrificial life and death. Holly berries are red and these are said to represent the blood of Jesus when he died on the cross.
Holly Stays Evergreen Throughout The Year
For centuries, evergreen plants, such as holly, ivy and mistletoe have been used to decorate and brighten up buildings during the long dark winter and they also provide a reminder that spring is on its way. Holly is one of the few plants that survives in the really cold temperatures of winter and interestingly, red and green are the only bright colours that thrive in nature during this season. They give hope that spring and warmer times are not far away.
The Changing Colours of Santa Claus
The name Santa Claus has its roots in the informal Dutch name for St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas which is an abbreviation of Sint Nikolaas. St. Nicholas was a historic 4th-century Greek saint. Today, the rotund Santa Claus is famous for being dressed in his distinctive red suit with white fur trimmings and white beard embellished with a thick black buckled belt and boots.
Santa and the Coca Cola Company
However, Santa has not always been dressed in red and over the decades he has been depicted in a variety of colours including blue, green and yellow. In Scandinavian countries, Father Christmas traditionally wore green to symbolise his links with nature and the changing seasons. It is not true that Santa was the creation of the Coca Cola Company but it was their illustrator Haddon Sundblom who created the picture of the jolly old man with the laughing face and this undoubtedly cemented the image and it would be hard to think of him in any other way.
Choosing Your Christmas Colours
When it comes to decorating for the holidays, there are hundreds of different styles and there is no requirement to keep to the traditional colours of green and red. Today, it’s all a matter of taste whether you choose modern, minimalist or classic designs and of course which colours you pick to compliment your creations.
Decorations come in a wide range of colours although they all have positive psychological properties. Purple denotes luxury and opulence whilst silver symbolises elegance and sophistication and gold is a sign of luxury and high quality.
What ever you choose, whether it’s fir cones and holly or lots of glitter and sparkle, traditional green and red or electric blue and silver, it’s all down to your colour personality and design style.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.