Creatives from all disciplines turn to Pantone for color cues and influence. After all, Pantone takes a serious and multifaceted approach to predicting color trends. This past Thursday, Pantone revealed it’s color choice for the new year and it looks like we’ll be painting the town purple with Pantone 18-3224: Radiant Orchid.

When describing the color of the year and its influence, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute® stated:

An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society. 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.

While I think her rhetoric is a bit of a reach, I can buy into the idea that the color is jovial. And while this overtly feminine hue may have the fashion and beauty industry in a buzz, I see it’s use in print and especially web design more limited.

My opinion is that this particular shade with be a divergence for a plethora of beautiful and unique shades of reds, oranges and purples used in unexpected ways. While Pantone’s recommendation to pair this purple with turquoise, light yellow or olive green might make a bold statement in fashion, I think in print and web design these pairings may be lost in translation.

I say take Radiant Orchid in a more subdued, albeit familiar direction by pairing it with navy, earthy charcoal, or a creamy beige if you are pitching to a more conservative clientele. As with everything in the design world, whatever direction you take it, do what’s right for the project.

For more information, visit, or read the official press release here: Press Release, Dec. 5, 2013

Author: Shannon spends most her days as a graphic designer at Pixel Productions, Inc. where she enjoys fantastic coffee, awesome coworkers and creating professional design work for clients of all shapes and sizes. She has an eye for detail and her talents include design for branding, packaging, web design and custom illustration.