By Andrea Lillo
The New Year looks to take a step in the bright direction with Pantone’s color selection for 2011: honeysuckle.
An energetic reddish pink, honeysuckle—specifically, Pantone 18-2120 TCX—is quite the contrast from its predecessor. While 2010’s color was the calming hue of turquoise, “we wanted something more adrenaline pumping” for 2011, said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. Concerns about the economy still exist, so Pantone wanted to put out a positive vibe for the year, she said. And designers told Pantone they were using more hues of it in their collections.
Not a timid tint, honeysuckle provides the perfect salve for the winter blues, as well as reminds us of summer. But it’s more than a color, Eiseman added, as its name can conjure up romance and sweetness, “and who doesn’t like sweet? There’s a connection between the senses.” So it’s not for the eyes only.
And while honeysuckle is bright, people are more comfortable and confident in incorporating color into their homes now, thanks to decorating shows, said Eiseman. And color is very adaptable. “We’re seeing color in other applications”—from categories as wide ranging as skateboards to digital equipment—“and it starts to come into the home.”
The pick of 2011 is also an ideal shade for today’s colorations. Neutrals are such an important palette now, especially the grayed down tones, said Michael Kinsler, vice president of creative services, Gibson USA. However, “they can be dead unless you add a pop of color.” He finds that hues such as honeysuckle, as well as turquoise, purple, and quince, are a perfect balance to neutrals.
Richard Joseph, co-founder of housewares company Joseph Joseph, agreed. With so much stainless steel and neutral tones dominating kitchen decor, for example, a bright hue can be a real statement color. Honeysuckle “offers a real vibrancy … it doesn’t shrink into the background.”
The hue itself is hot right now for Joseph Joseph, Joseph added. “It’s not a serious color—you can have a lot of fun with it.”
At Gibson, honeysuckle will be making appearances in introductions all year long in “small, digestible” amounts, said Kinsler. And that includes holiday, where, for example, it can show up on a multi-colored snowflake, Kinsler added. “It adds life and newness to the palette.”
And even a small product in a bright hue can make a difference, especially in tough times. “It’s the red lipstick adage,” Kinsler said. Because it’s inexpensive but adds color, “red lipstick always does well in a down economy.”