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What an interesting concept, color of the year (COTY). There’s more to this than meets the eye!

Brief History of Color of the Year

In 1999, the Pantone Color Institute created an educational program to spark a global conversation about color. The purpose was to illustrate the connection between culture and color. Every year since, color experts from the Institute “comb the world looking for new color influences.”  All aspects of culture are studied. “This can include the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections and new artists, enjoyable escapes as well as socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures and effects that impact color, relevant social media platforms and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.” The Pantone color of the year is usually announced at the end of the previous year. In other words, the 2023 color of the year – Viva Magenta – was announced in December 2022.

But wait – there’s more!

The major paint manufacturers also announce a color of the year, representing their respective views of the culture/color landscape. “Each year, paint companies and color experts reveal their picks for the shade that best encapsulates the current period.”  Historically, there hasn’t been much of an overlap between the colors chosen by these companies. Interestingly, five paint companies chose some version of subdued green for 2022. Vice president of creative at Fashion Snoops, Jaye Anna Mize, explains “As consumers, we are overstimulated and in need of more calming spaces, and earthy colors help us stay connected to nature, even when we’re indoors.”

Why each company feels the need to choose a COTY is a horse of a different color, as they say. It’s all about marketing. “Announcing a color of the year is a simple, inexpensive way to get attention and push some product” (see the Fast Company ink at the end of this article). The COTY draws attention to a company’s entire product line, increasing sales overall.

What Does It Mean for You?

It’s not likely that we’re going to be repainting rooms every year with the changing COTY. Given that Pantone and the paint manufacturers all choose a color and they’re often vastly different, how does the average person translate this color language to his or her surroundings? If you are undergoing a major redesign, consulting a professional is a great place to start.

But if you just want to update your decor, here are a few tips. First, peruse the choices and choose a color that resonates with you and works with your current color theme. There are easy and economical ways to use this color to freshen your look. An accent wall, still a design staple for 2023, is a good choice for paint or wallpaper. The choices of removable wallpaper are vast, and great for renters and flexibility. All manner of accessories is the perfect vehicle. Pillows and throw rugs add color and texture. A slipcover can transform a piece of furniture.

Let your imagination be your guide to adding a bit of excitement to your home. Show off your design savvy with a splash of a 2023 color of the year!

The Big Money Behind Naming a “Color of the Year”

Viva Magenta: 7 Ways to Work Pantone’s 2023 Color of the Year Into Your Decor Style



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