Color Institute Offers Brands Shades Of Success


Ever notice that orange has been in vogue the past few years as a brand color? It’s no accident — orange was the top color in the Color Institute’s 2003 forecast. Since then, says Fortune, “orange has gone mainstream, blanketing such unlikely products as video cameras, Kitchen Aid blenders, and Ford’s new F-150 SVT Raptor.”

The Color Institute is run by Pantone, the company that came up with the standard color numbering system in the 1960s still used by ad agencies, designers, and printers. The system has been expanded to include both numbers and names, and now has almost 2,000 colors.

The Institute is into color trends, with a team of color experts scouring the globe in search of popular colors. Leatrice Eiseman of the Institute says “Forecasting is a marriage of trend directions. It’s about how many places I’m seeing a color — if it’s popping up in graphics and products.” That led to the Institute selecting “mimosa yellow” as the color of the year for 2009.[more]

While the Color Institute acknowledges fashion designers play a leading role in determining color trends, consumer psychology is increasingly important. According to the Color Matters website, as much as 90% of a person’s assessment of a product is based on color alone, according to the Institute for Color Research. The impact of color is critical to brand marketing, because color increases brand recognition by up to 80%, according to University of Loyola, Maryland, study.

The Color Institute predicts that trendy colors for the spring and summer will be “tomato puree, aurora (yellow with a tint of green), and turquoise.” Sorry, the color mavens aren’t quite ready to reveal the 2010 color of the year.