Gifts Today magazine

Radiant Orchid, butterflies and eyes

Lee Eiseman explores the Pantone Color of the Year and other trends of 2014 at Chicago

At the 2014 International Home + Housewares Show, which took place March 15-18, Leatrice (Lee) Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, explored the colour trends for the year.

Describing the Pantone Color of the Year - Radiant Orchid – “It’s a beautiful colour,” Eiseman said. “The inspiration for it is a harmony of fuchsia and pink undertones, like a gorgeous sunset. It’s a hue that sparks the imagination. It is a magical, captivating and enigmatic colour.”

In her presentation, “New Harmonies: Changing Themes in Color/Design Trends,” Eiseman, who also is director of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training and author of several books on color, said that the colour can increasingly be found in architecture and lighting, both outdoors and indoors, and even in hair colour and make-up, especially in high fashion.

“We saw this colour making inroads several years ago, even in menswear,” Eiseman said. The Disney movie Frozen is full of Radiant Orchid, she noted, in part because the colour personifies a certain kind of magic.

In addition to movies, there are other factors that influence the process of naming the colour of the year and overall colour trends, Eiseman said, including the economy. “This is a great time for creativity with colour, yet there are many people who still want things from the past, based on these uncertain times. So we increasingly see color combinations of the past and of today. We bring in our history and polish the nostalgic looks.”

Another design trend is butterflies. “We cannot get enough butterflies,” Eiseman said. “That motif is huge going into 2015. We are seeing it in every possible application. Butterflies are all about change and that is the age that we are living in.”

While it may seem odd, Eiseman noted that photos of women’s eyes are a large design trend. “Particularly in giftware, we are seeing usage of women’s eyes,” she said. “It’s a look that has swept over the world and it will continue in 2015. The men’s version is in moustaches. In housewares, glassware and stemware we see numerous applications of it, as well as packaging and labeling. It has gone crazy and it will continue.”

With regards to the major colour families, and the most important trends with them, Eiseman said that use of the colour green will continue, although hues of the colour will expand, such as Hunter Green. In the yellow family she sees greenish-yellow undertone increasing in usage. In the blue family, the hues will become more energised, such as classic indigo.

The orange color family is puzzling, but it captures attention and people have slowly embraced it. “It will undergo some variations. If you want to do a variation on orange, combine it with peaches, which are coming on very strong,” Eiseman said.

Red will always have a strong presence in the housewares industry, Eiseman said, but she predicts “newer and fresher voices of red, combined with orange, pink and purple.”

Black and white will never go away, she said, and neutrals will have a strong presence in 2015, particularly with kids’ apparel. “I’m not suggesting that colour is going away with kids, as colour engages them, but worldwide we see neutrals taking on a strong role.”

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