Can a color calm a country’s political nerves?
Pantone, the color forecasting company that each year crowns a new reigning color, is banking on it with its 2017 color of the year, Greenery.
“Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment,” writes Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, in the company’s recent Greenery announcement.
She continues, hopefully: “Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another, and a larger purpose.”
I get why some are championing it. The yellow-green shade, which Pantone describes as “zesty” and others liken to a sour apple Jolly Rancher, has a freshness to it. It’s a hue, Pantone says, that “signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.”
Maybe it’s because it’s the exact color of the shag carpet in my 1970s girlhood bedroom, or maybe because it makes me look jaundiced when it’s up against my body, but I’m not big on Greenery.
Used any more than sparsely in a room or an outfit, it’s shrill to my eyes. Designers from Zac Posen to Balenciaga featured it on the spring 2017 runway, but I can’t imagine spending more than a few dollars to incorporate it into my wardrobe. (And definitely not with a scarf – friends will ask me if I’m sick.)
In home design, it’s the kind of color I’d add to a room with a bowl full of limes or a throw pillow – two things you can tuck into a closet or dispose of easily when you’re ready for a refresh.
An entire wall or an armchair covered in Greenery? I’d tire of them quickly.
Now, I love the idea behind a color of the year.
Two years ago, when I interviewed Eiseman about the 2015 color (Marsala), she fascinatingly described how teams from Pantone travel the globe for months to see what hues are cropping up strong on the horizon.
“Our antennae start quivering very early in the year,” Eiseman told me then. “We’re searching for the clues to take us to the color.”
Designers and retailers pay to get early news of the chosen color, and they ready products, from wall paint to sunglasses.
What’s your take? Will you be investing in Greenery? And does it have the calming, freshening effect Pantone is hoping for?