The Importance of Color and the Pantone Color of the Year


Every year Pantone sets the trend for colors in print design, marketing and advertising, interior design and many other industries by announcing their color of the year. Well, Pantone just released the Pantone color of the year for 2015: Marsala Pantone color number 18-1438.

What is Pantone and the PMS Matching System?

Pantone “is the world-renowned authority on color.” They provide color systems for various industries and are most known for their Pantone Matching System (PMS). The Pantone Matching System is a way of standardizing colors in the CMYK coloring process. CMYK stands for the four colors used in full color printing. Layers and combinations of the CMYK colors create full color images and print. The colors are cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The PMS system provides the correct mixtures for color matching. PMS colors can also be translated into RGB. RGB (red, green, blue) are screen based colors. For example your television and computer screen use the RGB model.

Why is PMS matching important?

PMS colors are significant to the promotional products industry. We use Pantone colors on a daily basis when imprinting custom items with logos and marketing messages. PMS matching is important to corporations who have specific colors as part of their corporate identity. At times it is necessary to come “as close as possible” to the PMS color of the imprint. There are many reasons why you may not be able to get an exact PMS match. For example some reasons may be the color of the item that the ink is being placed on or PMS matching is sometimes not available. In many cases to save on cost businesses may choose to come “as close as possible” to avoid a PMS matching fee.

Why is Marsala the Pantone color of 2015?

Marsala is full of richness like fortified wine. It’s earthy and warm which gives off a feeling of satisfaction and comfort. Marsala is also an Indian spice and it is a bold and radiant color. As shown in the video, Pantone describes Marsala as robust, earthy, sophisticated, hearty, stylish and fulfilling.

The Importance of Color in Branding and Advertising

As mentioned above color is important to corporate identity. It helps you remember a brand such as the brown UPS truck, red Target shopping carts or the bright orange Home Depot work buckets. The brown UPS truck represents dependability. The red Target shopping carts convey a feeling of excitement and represent bargain shopping. Orange for Home Depot represents construction and building. A brand with consistent color across it’s marketing increases brand recognition by 80 percent.

Color is also a good way to categorize products or services. For example, you can easily differentiate FedEx express (purple and orange) and FedEx ground (purple and green) by their colors. Did you notice that both FedEx services use purple?

Color is important in branding and advertising because of it’s psychological impact. Use the right color to convey the right feeling. Color is also important for recognition.

How do you use color in your marketing? What do you think about the Pantone color for 2015? Do you like trying different colors or do have a certain color you stick to? What’s your personal favorite color? Will you use Pantone Marsala in your design or advertising this coming year?

53 thoughts on “The Importance of Color and the Pantone Color of the Year

  1. When I first chose the theme of Wording Well, I wanted it to encompass the standard colours for writing: black, blue, and red (for editing).

    Because I’m Canadian, the red and white colours of my country are prevalent on Wording Well.

    I had the logo for my company designed using these colours, too.

    I also tend to wear clothing that has these colours on it when I make videos or have my picture taken.

    Consistency is key, if you ask me! Don’t you agree?
    Lorraine Reguly recently posted…How To Customize the Size of Your Blog Post Images #video #tutorialMy Profile

  2. I do like the new Pantone Marsala. It’s very rich looking…I love the depth. Back when I got involved a little in the marketing and advertising of some of our products, I was told that black/red/grey were the go to shades for print. I chose them for my own web page and I still like them together! I don’t know if this is still the case…our rainbow seems to have gotten so much larger! But I am still pleased with the appearance. Wonder if there is another opinion on the ‘go-to’ colors today?
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently posted…The break-up… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

  3. For years I have been amazed at the strange ways colour is being used by companies to promote themselves. In general it will benefit them to use clear, cheerful colours. But instead grey and other dull shades of other colours are used. It gives their customers a dull and negative impression.
    Catarina recently posted…Are entrepreneurs artists?My Profile

  4. I think that Pantone color for 2015 is perfect and really fulfilling. I simply love it. I like to try different colors but I always feel good with soft colors like light blue and its shades. My personal favorite is royal blue. I will try to use Pantone Marsala in some design as I like this.

    You are right that colors help brands in many ways, it has an impact and also help us to identify brands.
    andleeb recently posted…Fulfillment of LifeMy Profile

  5. I did not know there was a world renowned color expert out there. But you learn something knew every day. As for the 2015 color I find nothing to dislike. All my favorite colors for branding and personal use are rich, full, and vibrant; this one ticks all the boxes.
    Tim recently posted…Cattle Rustlers HavenMy Profile

  6. For the Web coders out there, the #RRGGBB code for marsala is: #955251
    For example,

    body { background-color: #955251; }

    would impart a marsala background color to a Web page. If the comment box allowed me to use the HTML style attribute, I’d show this off here and now, but it doesn’t. Oh, let me try it anyway:

    If this works (and it probably won’t), the text color of this bolded sentence will be marsala.

  7. I know there is a great psychological design in color selection.
    I remember working for a chain of stores, on year it was brightly colored, because they wanted the customer to fell “excited” about the products.
    A couple years later, the changed it to a bland grey color because they wanted the customer to feel “at ease” when purchasing products. Sometimes it appears to be who you ask to do your design for you.
    Interesting blog, thanks for sharing.

  8. I love this color it’s so rich. I read in InStyle magazine the color “maderia”, (which is a close match to Marsala) is the fashion color this season. The psychology of color is very interesting. Color can be motivating and promote physical and mental well-being. Research has shown a correlation between color and behavior. It doesn’t surprise me that major companies spend time and money selecting the colors for their brand. Remember “Honda” red?
    pamela Chollet recently posted…What Everyone Ought To Know About CopingMy Profile

  9. I always look forward to Pantone’s colour of the year! They always seem to get it right on the money. Marsala is a great colour – to me, it very much evokes India, which is becoming such an important economic power. As for me, well, I use a true red, black and white for my branding. Maybe not the most original, but it’s a strong combination!
    Krystyna Lagowski recently posted…Mighty Nissan Micra braves blizzard for ailing catMy Profile

  10. I’m very careful with colors. I do like the color, Marsala, it looks rich and warm. When I designed my website, I tried to make it look happy and friendly. Domestic violence is a difficult topic, sometimes when you visit some sites they can look very bleak and desperate. I don’t want that to be the impression people get from my site and I believe colors reflect that

  11. Wow, I didn’t know that there is a color picked that will set the tone for marketing for the year. I like Marsala – always loved the earthy tones. Yes, colors in marking is important, not just to let the world know my brand but also depending on the time of year. I love the marsala color but I wonder how well it would go in spring time.

  12. I love the new color of the year. I use red as my primary color as I’m in marketing and want to bold and not subdued. I thought the background of my old website design had too much red so I recently relaunched my website adding more large images, which l think are more interesting and compelling. Thanks for the update on Pantone.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Are You “Prominent” on Social Media?My Profile

  13. Hey Arleen, I love your site/blog. I love everything about color and you have opened my eyes to a whole new way to incorporate them. Great writing.
    Karen J.

  14. I’m not good with colors and not like a lot of red, but it is a essenscial color for business, images, it is the color that draws attention everywhere is always red, red is essential for life, and for editing image and graphics, congratulations post

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