Pantone’s Hot Color for 2012: Tangerine Tango


It’s a funny thing about color. It can lift a mood as much as depress it. Color is so much a part of brand marketing that many consumers may not even think about the impact one color or another has on a purchase decision.

Pantone knows just how important color is in marketing; in fact, the company has built a business around it. Each year, Pantone, which describes itself as “the global authority on color,” selects a color of the year — before the year begins — to rally the world’s designers around it. In fact, the color is selected based on a poll conducted with designers. Last year’s color was the “vibrant, energetic” shade of pink called Honeysuckle; some referred to it as “Mad Men pink.”

For 2012, Pantone’s pick moves the dail a few clicks hotter, from a warm pink to pure tangerine dream, with the selection of “Tangerine Tango,” a citrus-red hue that leans orange than red — although it’s certainly red hot, popping up all over the Spring 2012 runway collections during the September Fashion Week shows.[more]

“Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”

According to Pantone, the choice of Honeysuckle as 2011’s color of the year “encouraged us to face everyday troubles with verge and vigor,” while Tangerine Tango “continues to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.”

Clearly, there is a lot of psychology in color choice, and happy colors seem to be de rigueur these days. The past several years have seen the emergence of orange as a popular color with designers and consumers. Pantone says that designers Tommy Hilfiger, Nanette Lepore, and Adrienne Vittadini, among others, are incorporating Tangerine Tango into their spring 2012 collections (as seen below) and even extending the color into their fall color palette.

On the beauty front, in March Sephora will launch a collection called SEPHORA + PANTONE UNIVERSE featuring the first Color of the Year beauty collection. The limited edition collection will include eye shadow, lipstick, lip gloss, nail polish and accessories.

Beyond beauty and fashion, look for Tangerine Tango to pop up in 2012 products from home decorating brands as well. Pillows and bedspreads will incorporate the color and it will be available as a wall paint through Pantone Paints, a line of eco-friendly paint. Tangerine Tango products will be available from a number of other sources, including Dessy, a leading manufacturer of bridesmaid, social-occasion and flower-girl dresses.

The color of the year selection process involves an assessment of global color influences. For more than a decade, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decision in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design.