The color of the economic crisis

I have been learning about color meaning/theory and Pantone in particular for my visual communications class. Incidentally a design geeky friend referenced a story about Pantone and Gap partnering to choose a color of the year: 14-0848, a warm yellow described as optimistic, hopeful, reassuring, warm, cheerful, radiant and versatile. Talk about wanting to ignore this recession already. To me it recalls other “virtuous recession” marketing efforts that are falling flat.

In contrast, I found another story about the most common colors from the 2009 New York fashion week.


Iron is number one. To me, a dark gray seems more indicative of where the nation’s mood is nowadays, but I guess GAP didn’t want to go with reality as much as sunny irony. The Pantone book I’m reading now describes gray as steadfast, accountable, solid and resolute. That’s what I call the mood of the moment.

Update: click on the color name (14-0848) and you can read all about “Mimosa,” this yellow that supposedly foretells “hopefulness and reassuarance in a climate of change.” (The first time I read it, I read “climate change.” lol) At any rate, this pick for color of the year seems to buck the trend in a bad way, recalling the ignorantly optimistic and perplexingly pompous Pepsi logo redesign fail.


One response to “The color of the economic crisis

  1. Ha! I just came across this, and couldn’t be happier about being referred to as a “design geeky friend.” Guilty as charged…

    I have such a huge thing for color palettes, which is why I love Pantone charts, big packs of markers and fresh Crayola crayons, paint chips…kind of fell for the House Beautiful Colors for Your Home book the other day in the bookstore ( Even better in person because the color swatches have great texture.

    Glad you’re blogging again. Going to have to swap some movie titles, as I’m also desperately behind after my time in Spain…

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