2014 Color of the Year…Radiant Orchid

In case you missed it among the crush of news stories about Kim and Kanye, the Harlem Shake and, Miley Cirus, on December 5th Pantone announced their 2014 Color of the Year- “Radiant Orchid”. “What is Radiant Orchid?” you ask.  Well, to the fairly informed color enthusiast, Radiant Orchid is a shade of fuchsia with pink undertones, but according to Pantone, the leading authority on the hues used in paint, fabrics, and manufacturing, Radiant Orchid is a “captivating, magical, enigmatic purple.”

Pantone must have high expectations for Radiant Orchid, not simply as a color, but more of an experience, judging by the words of Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. When describing the development of the 2014 Color of the Year she refers to it as, “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.” Not to be understated, Eiseman further describes the color as, “An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple, and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

With such eloquent praise set to an almost Shakespearean like prose we must ask, “What goes into selecting the color of the year?” Well, Pantone leaves no stone unturned looking for color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films that are in production, traveling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from technology, availability of new textures and effects that impact color, and even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention. From there…as the quintessential expert on color Pantone sets color standards for commercial use by design industries, and as you know interior colors follow fashion trends so we can expect to see more of this bright, creative, and vibrant color in paint, home accessories, furniture, and upholstery.

Radiant orchid might be Pantone’s pick for the color of the year, but ultimately it’s the designers and consumers who will decide the success of this color prediction. So how might one use such a magical, mystical, awe inspiring color? A few suggestions might be to use Radiant Orchid to liven up interiors by complimenting it with olives and deeper hunter greens. It can also be used to give new life to neutrals like gray, beige, taupe, soft metallics like silvers and gold.

Tell us, what you think about Radiant Orchid. How might you incorporate it into your future design projects?