Trends in Hindsight: 2009 Color of the Year

Kiki’s post about yellow on our Color for Your Home got me thinking about Mimosa, the yellow color that Pantone named 2009 Color of the Year.

pantone mimosa color of the year 2009We are over two thirds of the way through the year and I was wondering if this color of the year embodies the year now that we know what 2009 is about. When the color was released this was the “why” behind Mimosa:

“The color yellow exemplifies the warmth and nurturing quality of the sun, properties we as humans are naturally drawn to for reassurance,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Mimosa also speaks to enlightenment, as it is a hue that sparks imagination and innovation.”

“I think it’s just the most wonderful symbolic color of the future,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “It’s invariably connected to warmth, sunshine and cheer – all the good things we’re in dire need of right now.”

Yes, we have for many reasons in 2009 needed reassurance so I think Lee was absolutely on target.  It hasn’t just been this strong yellow that we have been draw to either.  Many brighter colors including hot pink, turquoise and grassy green bring us the cheery feelings we are seeking.

Yellow is a beautiful and natural complement to purple which has held a place in our hearts for several seasons.  Anytime one color is strong it is very likely that the complementary color will appear as well and this is true for yellow and purple in 2009.

All indications are that we are going to continue to need the reassurance of sunny Mimosa for some time to come as work through some tough times.  This reminded me of another symbolic interpretation of this color during times of high unemployment and financially troubling times.  The yellow brick road in the movie, Wizard of Oz.

yellow_brick_roadSome people think that the yellow bricks symbolized the gold standard, and at the time some…

…believed that the gold standard, like the yellow brick road, had many pitfalls for ordinary people.

Dorothy’s trek down the yellow brick road to the Emerald City recalls an event that took place during the winter of 1893-1894. High unemployment led a populist from Massilon, Ohio, named Jacob Coxey to organize a march on Washington, DC to promote his plan to put people back to work through a public works program.

Funny how this sounds vaguely similar to some of what we’re hearing today.  Maybe that explains why when listening to the news lately I find myself wondering if we’re on the road to nowhere and everywhere at the same time.

For more on yellow and Pantone’s 2009 color of the year, Mimosa:

Professional Color Consultant and Speaker Kate Smith, CMG, CfYH

2 Responses to “Trends in Hindsight: 2009 Color of the Year”

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  1. Maria Killam says:

    Wow, what a great post Kate. I just love the luscious yellow brick road!! (FYI, update – I’m starting the coaching with her Sept. 1 and I’ll be coming to NY sometime in October! I’ll keep you posted :) Thanks for your support, you are the best!!

    ps. All your colour sites and truly extraordinary, the best place to come for colour!
    .-= Maria Killam´s last blog ..Beach Reading for the Weekend =-.

  2. Kate Smith says:

    Thanks Maria for such a wonderful compliment. Can’t wait to see you in NYC.

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