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Famous Colors - Carola Seybold, Pantone, explains how a color becomes famous


Pantone's recommendations influence retailers and consumers all over the world.

Its color of the year finds wide recognition and acceptance in global retail industry. But how do they decide if “greenery” or “earth” will become the trend color? Carola Seybold is Director Business Development at Pantone and knows all about the effect of colors in retail. 

What are the criteria that determine a color to become the color of the year?
A Pantone Color of the Year has to fulfill the following important criteria:
  • It has to be globally acceptable – from the name as well as from the Color
  • It has to reflect the zeitgeist from a political, economical, social and ecological point of view
  • It expresses a mood by color to show, what is going on in our world in the next 12 months!

How does it influence retailers and customers and how do you achieve international recognition?

Retailers and customers, who are working close related to trends, have this color set up somewhere in their color range already. The Pantone Color of the Year is always one of our forecasted colors of the upcoming color palettes. So the only reason, why it becomes suddenly more visible is, that all retailers and customers high-lighten this color more and bring into attention of their consumers.

It is the emotional aspect, the background story and meaning, which we create with this specific Pantone Color of the Year, that lets the Color “fly”! It gets this international attention through the growing desire of consumers to get more guidance in color choice and looking for more emotional entertainment around shopping decisions.
The worldwide web with people’s desire to exchange interesting stories helps a lot to get this huge recognition around the world.

For retailers it is quite impossible to change the interior of their stores according to each trend-color of the year. How can they involve such trends anyway?
You can easily share such trends with having regular color changes in focus walls as an example. Every retailer is forced to get more entertainment in the shops anyways. Why not defining a focus platform, on which you can play with trends? And painting a wall can be done overnight!

Also flyers, catalogues, newsletters, e-blast, social media channels of retailers can be fully colored with the Pantone Color of the Year or includind background stories, can be a an easy way to convert the idea!
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