What is Pantone?

Have you ever wondered what exactly is Pantone? Those who know me well are aware of my obsession with color and have heard me refer to this word a lot!

Most commonly known in the design world, Pantone is the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color matching systems to various industries. Examples of these color-critical industries include fashion, architecture, construction, paint manufacturing, digital technology, plastics and home interior design. Recently, Pantone has become more mainstream due to wider exposure from outlets like Pinterest, who highlight Pantone’s “Color of the Year” selection and merchandise. (Follow Pantone on Pinterest here.)




flip flops







In 1963, Lawrence Herbert, Pantone’s founder, created this innovative color matching system to solve color discrepancies due to the spectrum being interpreted differently by individuals and various companies.


Pantone Color of the Year

On an annual basis, Pantone and its secret color committee meet over two days of presentations and debate to select their Color of the Year for the upcoming year and publish in Pantone View ($750). Fashion designers, florists, and a wide variety of other consumer-oriented companies use this to help guide their designs and roadmap for future products. The color typically reflects where they see trends moving based on the world’s cultural, social, artistic and technological status.

“Radiant Orchid” was declared the 2014 Pantone Color of the Year.

Pantone_Radiant Orchid_IPad

Pantone Color Institute Executive Director, Leatrice Eiseman, explains how Radiant Orchid was chosen for 2014:

“I look for ascending color trends, colors that are being used in broader ways and broader context than before…In this case, Radiant Orchid descends from the purple family, which is kind of a magical color that denotes creativity and innovation. Purple is just that kind of a complex, interesting, attracting kind of color…[The] back-story to purple is that it inspires confidence in your creativity, and we’re living in a world where that kind of creative innovation is greatly admired. In the world of color, purple is an attention-getter, and it has a meaning. It speaks to people, and we felt that it was time for the purple family to be celebrated. That’s why we chose the particular shade called Radiant Orchid.”

Rick Debus, “Signazon Spotlight: Lee Eiseman, Pantone – Part 1”, Signazon Tips & Guides


Below are some of examples of how this beautiful, vibrant hue has influenced interiors over the past year!


door 3

accent chairs 2

accent wall


fun wallpaper

bedroom 2


rug- living room

fun bedding


Wondering about past Pantone Colors of the Year???

2000- Cerulean Blue

2000 Cerulean Blue

2001- Fuchsia Rose

2001 Fuchsia_Rose

2002- True Red

2002 True Red


2003- Aqua Sky

2004 Aqua Sky


2004- Tigerlily

2004 Tiferlily


2005- Blue Turquoise

2005 Blue Turquoise


2006- Sand Dollar

2006 Sand Dollar


2007- Chili Pepper

2007 Chili Pepper


2008- Blue Iris

2008 Blue Iris


2009- Mimosa

2009 Mimosa


2010- Turquoise

2010 Turquoise


2011- Honeysuckle

2011 Honeysuckle


2012- Tangerine Tango

2012 Tangerine Tango


2013- Emerald

2013 Emerald

With the help of The Savory, here are my early predictions for 2015’s Pantone Color of the year.

Inspired by your local farmers market….

Macadamia Nuts in Shells

macadamia nuts, in shell








Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin seed


Vibrant Peach


vibrant peach



7 thoughts on “What is Pantone?

  1. Mona says:

    This is such a comprehensive, unique look at how versatile color can be! I didn’t even know there was a history to color and color combinations, so it was very interesting to learn about Pantone and how key it is in so many industries. I love the various examples you have given on this year’s “color”. I would have thought Radiant Orchid would be limited to just a few venues such as fashion and florals but it looks amazing as an accent for home décor and furnishings. Thanks for broadening my perspective on this lovely color!… I love your guesses for the year 2015. I’m hoping “grapefruit” will be the big winner 🙂

    • Thanks Mona! There is so much more to color than meets-the-eye! The psychology of color is fascinating as well. I agree that radiant orchid is a beautiful accent color to use in your home. It goes well with grays, browns vibrant yellow and other jewel tones.
      I’ll follow back up with a post once they announce 2015’s color. Thanks again for your continued support and thoughtful comments!

  2. Deece says:

    I vote for 15-0533 inspired by pumpkin seeds. They are all beautful, saturated colors. Makes me want to go home and paint my nails. 🙂

  3. Letetia says:

    Wow, thank you, this is incredibly brilliant information! I am still thinking about stripes and now this — Pantone colors. Love the history and how stores capture new colors. Thanks for sharing! Love it! Keep up the great job!

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