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Color of the Year? All of the Above

Monday, December 24, 2012

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And the Color of the Year for 2013 is... Emerald! And Indigo Night! And Aloe! And Lemon Sorbet!

Which is to say, it depends upon whom you ask, as paint companies have recently been unveiling a whole rainbow of "top colors" for next year.

For AkzoNobel, the world's largest paint and coating company, 2013's "Color of the Year" is Indigo Night. Pantone LLC has anointed Emerald, while Sherwin-Williams crownedd Aloe and Benjamin Moore served up Lemon Sorbet.

Here's more on what each company sees in its colorful crystal ball for next year.

AkzoNobel: Indigo Night

The company says it singled out the rich blue shade "through a study of social and economic trends from around the globe." (Last year's choice, Terra Cotta Rose, reflected "possibilities and take-charge optimism.")

AkzoNobel says Indigo Night "suggests maturity and elegance. The regal, tranquil and introspective hue also conveys a sense of trust and authority."

Indigo Night

Indigo Night "makes a bold and confident statement," says AkzoNobel.

Barbara Richardson, director of North American color marketing for AkzoNobel, calls it "a stunning color that can be applied to many areas within the home."

"Even used in small ways, Indigo Night makes a bold and confident statement, whether it's featured in an entryway, place of study, or as a pop of color on furniture, such as the inside of bookshelves."

The Color of the Year is the result of a confab by an international group of experts in the fields of design, architecture and fashion, the company says. The decisions "draw on a variety of cultural influences such as fine art and technology, as well as social and economic trends."

Pantone: Emerald

The New Jersey-based company, which bills itself as "the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries," is seeing green for 2013. (Last year, the choice was 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.

Emerald - Pantone

"Green is the most abundant hue in nature," representing "growth, renewal and prosperity," says Pantone.

“As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. 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.”

Emerald is also the "color of growth, renewal and prosperity," says Pantone. "For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity."

Sherwin-Williams: Aloe

Sherwin-Williams' Aloe boasts "a hint of mint and lots of moxie," the company says.

“This is no ordinary pastel," says Jackie Jordan, Sherwin–Williams director of color marketing. "Aloe is funky and glamorous, demure and free-spirited."



Aloe is "midcentury meets 21st century," according to Sherwin-Williams.

Aloe is one of 40 colors that make up the company's four-palette 2013 color forecast, which is developed by its color experts.

"While Aloe’s vibe can verge on retro, when paired with caviar blacks, crisp whites or soft grays, suddenly Aloe has a new soul and attitude," says Jordan. "And Aloe is highly adaptable, making it a perfect pick for everyday spaces such as a breezy sunroom or a well-dressed living room.”

For a tranquil aesthetic, Jordan recommends coupling Aloe with natural textiles, aged metals or warm wood tones in light to medium finishes. For a more energetic look, Jordan suggests combining Aloe with vintage chartreuse, floral lilacs and vivid corals.

Benjamin Moore: Lemon Sorbet

Benjamin Moore calls its color of the year "the perfect transitional color between the mid-tones and saturated colors seen in today's home furnishings and the softer, lighter pastels which are emerging for 2013."

Lemon Sorbet

Benjamin Moore says Lemon Sorbet is "uplifting without being overpowering."

The company adds, "This beautiful yellow harmonizes with other trending pastels in the mint, coral, pink, blue, and vanilla families. Uplifting without being overpowering, lemon sorbet (2019-60) complements almost any color palette and provides a unifying element for diverse spaces."

Videos by Benjamin Moore senior interior designer Sonu Mathew, ASID, IIDA, offer style suggestions for decorating with Lemon Sorbet.

And Then There's....

PPG Industries, the world's second-largest paint company, opted for Voice of Color Trends, rather than a single color for 2013-2014. "In 2013, expect even more color and more creativity," says PPG. 

Meanwhile, other experts offered their glimpses of the color future in a Durability + Design Color and Design Outlook.

In its trend forecast, PPG notes that color is not the topic of universal agreement.

The company says, "All the coming trends have one thing in common—individual expression that is very well articulated."

Which may be why even the experts see a different color for the year ahead.


Tagged categories: AkzoNobel; Benjamin Moore; Color forecasts; Color trends; Design; Pantone; PPG Voice of Color; Sherwin-Williams

Comment from Andy Weaver, (1/2/2013, 12:44 PM)

OK so we got a violet, a bluish green, a greenish blue and a yellow-orange.Yep best colour is a rainbow!!

Comment from ELIZABETH FRENCHMAN, (1/3/2013, 9:26 AM)

This is an excellent service to us all. I'm glad someone has been paying attention and collating. Suggestion for a nice D&D feature: what color forecasting consultants each paint company uses.

Comment from Paul Braun, (1/4/2013, 8:22 AM)

While I appreciate the well-articulated individual expressions of Andy and Elizabeth, I feel the need to add: I don't know if I believe that the BenMoore designer offering advice on coming trends is really named Sonu. One thing I am sure of is that the paint companies' prose will continue to be purple

Comment from sonu mathew, (1/4/2013, 10:23 AM)

Hi Paul, I thought I should assure you that my name is indeed Sonu and I'm not sure why you would question that. I am a trained, experienced, and accredited interior designer. I am also Benjamin Moore's spokesperson on color and have been with the company for almost 10 years. (that's actually me in the videos--how fun to do share what you love!) As for the topic of color & forecasting... Color is powerful and evocative. Describing color so our clients understand it's impact and potential is important because color, like life, happens in context. It's critical we consider how forecasted colors "fit" into the colors we already live with, the colors on the horizon, and the overall trends in terms of tone/saturation/intensity. So, while the description you refer to may seem to be purple prose to you, it is a tool for many who appreciate color and it's place in design. Best, Sonu

Comment from Paul Braun, (1/7/2013, 11:21 AM)

Sonu: No disrespect was intended, just an appreciation of suitability of your name to your profession, inspired by the ending credit list of NPR's "Car Talk". As an engineer, not a design professional, I am always amused by the (to me) sometimes florid prose used to describe color, design, music, and other subjective matters. Maybe I am a bit oversensitive (frazzled) by the choices I am being forced to make (and then defend), as we prepare to paint our living areas at home. As the painting contractor in "Mr. Blandings builds His Dream House" says: "I need a gallon of yellow, one of white, and another of blue".

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