Pantone announces its 2015 colour of the year: Marsala

Each year, the Pantone Colour Institute makes a forecast for which shade will become a regular feature in the colour palettes of our lives, from the gorgeous dresses that drape celebrity catwalks, to the walls of our buildings to the throw cushions that are sprawled around our homes and apartments. And yes, it can even affect web and graphic design.

Drawing on influences across fashion and entertainment industries, art, popular travel destinations, sports, technology and more, the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2015, Marsala is more than just a colour: it’s a statement about the world.

In 2015, Pantone’s carefully selected winner, Marsala, took a side-step from the vibrant, youthful colour trends of recent years – including Radiant Orchid, Tangerine Tango, Turquoise and Mimosa – to something a little more demure and seductive: Marsala. Drawing its name from the fortified wine, the colour hints at richness and luxury, while also maintaining its earthy, grounded base.

Marsala – Pantone’s 2015 Colour of the Year

Described by Pantone’s Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman as a “subtle seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth”, Marsala is a robust and sensuous red with a strong maroon undertone. In a press statement about the launch of the 2015 colour of the year, Eiseman said Marsala is designed to “enrich [the] mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability”.

Pantone chose Marsala for this year’s winner as it was:

  • Equally appealing to both men and women
  • Marsala is a stirring and flavourful shade for apparel and accessories, one that encourages color creativity and experimentation
  • Flattering against many skin tones, sultry and subtle Marsala is a great go-to colour for beauty, providing enormous highlight for the cheek and a captivating pop of colour for nails, shadows lips and hair.
  • Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings colour warmth into home interiors
  • An earthy shade with a bit of sophistication, texture is the story in print and packaging. A matte finish highlights Marsala’s organic nature while adding a sheen conveys a completely different message of glamour and luxury.

Yet while Eiseman has commented that the “hearty yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors”, the choice of Marsala as the Pantone colour of the year has not been without criticism.

Style and art critics have likened the rich red to negative imagery of dried meats, rust and dull bricks, to name a few. It’s highly surprising that so many people are in agreement thought; after all, variety is the spice of life, is it not?

Despite a mixed response, it’s likely that Marsala will gain momentum over the course of the year, being particularly well-suited to interior design, home furnishings and elements of branding and web design. It makes a stand-out choice for accessories and statement pieces, a bold yet understated shade that attracts attention. It also lends itself well to patterns, mixing nicely with similarly toned colours, such as oranges and blues.

Make the right statement about your business with the colours you choose

Colour says a lot about your business and the personality of your brand. If you want to ensure your branding works in synergy with your business and the world around you, trust the team at iFactory to help you make the right statement. You can contact us for all things colour, design and branding, and start working with an expert team to find the right colour palette that suits you.

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