Pantone Color of the Year “Radiant Orchid”: A Short History

Pantone Color of the Year: What’s the Craze About?

radiant orchid

“Expressive, exotic radiant orchid blooms with confidence and warmth”

I don’t know about you, but since I heard of this color of the year thing I have wondered what it’s all about! Well, I couldn’t get over the curiosity, so I decided to do some research.  Pantone is most easily described as the global color authority, standardizing color so that different companies can have a central color rubric at hand.  This allows for consistency and continuity without the companies needing to be in contact with one another at all times.  Most commonly referenced in beauty, fashion, and interior design, Pantone’s color of the year packs a serious trend punch as evidence by many of the Spring 2014 fashion shows that took place in New York.


“While the 2013 color of the year, PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination…An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

I have to admit I did not know about Pantone of the Color of the Year before this year, but I am so glad I recently found out!  I find this so incredibly interesting, and I love the amount of though that goes into choosing a color.  It is said that prior to the choosing of the color, a council of “colorists” around the world gather in a drab and colorless  room (in order to prevent subconscious influences) in London to discuss and choose the color of the year.  A wide range of companies are also surveyed, from clothing and textile companies to companies like Airbus, are also contacted for their input.  These meetings are secret and discretion is always required, as the announcement of the color is often an event.  This is hardly taken trivially: representatives are called from all over the world to choose “the new black.”


Pantone Colors of Year: Blast from the Past

pantone color of the year

In the past, Pantone chose various colors for which press releases were also written.  The Color of the Year in 2013, Emerald, was said to be chosen because “Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum…As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. This powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors.”  Each year, the press release contains  tips for fashion, beauty, and interior design uses of the color in question.  “Equally harmonious on the cosmetic color wheel, Emerald dramatizes all eye colors as it beautifully enhances green eyes, is compatible to blue eyes, emphasizes the green undertone in hazel eyes and intensifies brown eyes to make them appear deeper.”  Emerald is a personal favorite of mine, so I was more than happy to see this as a trend and a little sad to see it go.


“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

radiant orchid

Each year, Pantone tries to choose a color that acts as sort of the zeitgeist of all colors.  The quote above captures the though behind this year’s Radiant Orchid color, and colors from past years have had similar thought processes behind them.  I particularly love the color of the year for 2014 because of it’s universality in the world of beauty.   As described on the Pantone website, radiant orchid is complementary to a wide range of skin tones due to the warm and cool undertones that make up the color.  It is also very sensual, and “enlivens” the skin.  This “modern” and “versatile” shade can be used as eyeshadow, liners, lipsticks, and blushes, making it one of the most viable colors of the year when it comes to beauty and makeup.  I personally cannot wait to start playing around with looks inspired by this color!  The site recommends pairing it with reds, and I am definitely up for the challenge.  Stay tuned for upcoming tutorials!


Do you like YouTube Videos?

Click HERE to subscribe to my YouTube Channel!



  1. Helena
    December 30, 2013 / 11:07 am

    wow! Thanks for this post. I did not know what was all this colour of the year thing and now i know! Is a very pretty colour, I am going to rock some lipsticks with that colour for sure!

    My Perfect Red


    • January 5, 2014 / 11:41 pm

      Haha, thank YOU for stopping by! I was so curious about it too, and I can’t wait to start playing around with the color

  2. Charlotte MacDonald-Gaunt
    January 2, 2014 / 8:20 pm

    This is such a dynamic and energetic color and I can’t wait to chance from these berry tones into something a bit more vibrant :o). Xx

    Makeup by Candlelight

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *