The announcement of the Pantone Color of the Year, Marsala, is always an exciting time for designers of all stripes. Pantone determines the shade that most represents the current cultural mood, and creative thinkers from graphic design to fashion have fun forecasting the choice, then analyzing it once it is made.
This year’s color is Marsala, a brown-red. Personally, I was quite surprised by the choice, as I had not noticed this tone in my work at all. I don’t think I was alone in my bafflement. The collective gasp form the whole of design industry was nearly audible, and it didn’t take long for prognosticators to begin to denounce it, as The Atlantic did, as “rust, the grimy, gag-inducing type that lines corners or frat boy dormitory-style bathrooms. Or blood, the freaky dried kind whose iron content has been exposed to the air long enough to evoke a dull brick.” Slate went so far as to name their review, “Why Everyone Hates Marsala, Pantone’s Color of the Year.”
Personally, the color reminds me too much of the 80s, and not the fun MTV-dominated 80s, but the decade that made stogy Laura Ashley prints a staple on unflattering dresses and equally unflattering wallpaper.
I’m going to stick to last year’s Radiant Orchid, and hope for better luck next year.