Is Emerald the Colour of 2013?

Is Pantone’s choice of Emerald (Pantone reference 17-5641) an inspired read of cultural shifts and green shoots of recovery or a slightly naive hope for the coming year? [Read about the different meanings of green here.]

It’s quite a change from Tangerine Tango, the colour of 2012 (read more here). Being green wasn’t so easy for Kermit the Frog, but Pantone predict a better year in 2013, as their press release (link here) says, “Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other in the spectrum. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is important in today’s complex world.”

Green is certainly a colour with very strong meanings, going back to early cultures, both relating to nature, Spring and the rejuvenation of life after the barren Winter, as well as it’s more modern association with the environmental movement. However, green also has negative associations relating to the decay of life (and it’s associations in mythology with dragons and monsters).

Perhaps this choice looks to the past, in contrast to last year’s which seemed more futuristic.

Hopefully, 2013 will be a monster year in the spirit of Shrek rather than the dragons of King Arthur’s court.

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