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The Pantone Color of the year for 2014 is Radiant Orchid

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Every year, the Pantone Corporation’s Color Institute invents the color palettes that that brighten our world. In choosing a color of the year, the color institute makes a highly anticipated prediction of the boldest, most innovative color for the world to experiment with. For 2014, look for a powerful combination of pink and purple called “Radiant Orchid.” According to a Dec. 5 LA Times article, the company describes the color as “an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones."

Pantone, LLC is one of the top authorities in the world for creating exciting new color palettes and ensuring they can be used throughout the industrial world. With today’s advanced technology the colors can be pushed onto fabrics, paints, polymers, polishes and more.

In 2012, Pantone predicted that emerald would be the color of the year, and it was not long before that color showed up on everything from tiles to velvet furniture covering. Now the wild orchid has arrived and it is already showing up in spring fashions.

As a cautionary note, Pantone’s color of the year is expected to be bold, innovative and way too saturated for the average taste. The color is more concept than commercial in many cases, yet someone will show up somewhere, fully adorned in Radiant Orchid. In a year or so, that Radiant Orchid velvet chair will have served its purpose as a risky venture into decorating excess.

The Pantone spring 2014 palette actually has three intensely bright colors. They are Freesia, Dazzling Blue and Radiant Orchid. Celosia Orange and Cayenne complete the moderately bright section. Sand and Paloma are the neutrals. Placid Blue, Hemlock and Violet Tulip are the pastels of the palette.

The pastels are a fine basis for any reasonable spring color scheme. This year’s colors of Hemlock, Violet Tulip and Placid Blue give us endless sky, a nostalgic purple and a color of green that has been missed for a long time.

The neutrals are Sand, a warmer, cleaner version of taupe and Paloma, a rich looking blue gray. These neutrals will stay in place with any color and at any time.

The Cayenne, Freesia and Celosia Orange are a risk. The Cayenne and Celosia Orange might add some dash to the neutrals or pastels, but they appear to be muddy and dull on their own. The Freesia is an eye-catcher that might work in smaller doses.

It is always fun to look out for these colors as they show up on all kinds of surfaces. Thanks to technology, some of these colors will work their way into many substances and forms, including specialty fabrics, cosmetics, foods and toys.

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