Color Harvest: Radiant Orchid, 2014 Pantone Color of the Year

Well, it’s that time of year again!  The folks at Pantone have made their pronouncement predicting the color that will be most on trend for the coming year.  The Color of the Year 2014 is.. drumroll.. Radiant Orchid!

CH_Radiant Orchid

I’ll admit, at first I was underwhelmed.  I haven’t been a huge fan of purples since  Christmas 1985 in which every single gift I received was of a lavender hue.  It was the favorite color of my 13 year old self, but I eventually tired of it and moved on, pretty much abandoning it forever.  But once this news got out, I decided to do a little foraging for color amongst the art on my Pinterest boards and what ho, I spy a bunch of this very shade!

So maybe my inner 13 year old is subconsciously seeping through into my pins.  Or, more likely, these artists know what Pantone folks have discovered– this particular shade, dubbed Radiant Orchid, is much more versatile than it may seem upon first glance.

It can be soft and feminine, as its floral moniker implies.  These artists know that pairing this color with creamy neutrals and fellow floral shades creates a feeling of delicate suppleness.

Radiant orchid_soft_collage

 clockwise from top left casey matthews | riley lester | ada wang | bahman farad | laurence amelie | christina baker

When paired with darker shades and jewel tones, Radiant Orchid takes on a rich, earthy quality.  Pairing such a feminine color with more heavy, masculine tones makes these abstract pieces perfectly balanced.

Orchid_Rich and earthycollage

 clockwise from top left elizabeth condon | eva lundsager | scott cumberland | charline von heyl

And of course, artists know when to capitalize on a color’s inherent pop factor.  In the work below, these artists have used Radiant Orchids bright and bold sensibility to bring vibrant fearlessness to their work.

Orchid_bold pop_collage

clockwise from top left julie cockburn | eva eun sil-han | shannon rankin  | francois nielly | andy gilmore

Are you a fan of this lavender shade?  If you’re an artist, are you using it in your current work or have plans to try to incorporate it in 2014?  Designers & consultants, think your clients will be itching for artwork to incorporate this color into their interiors?  Artsy minds want to know!

All image sources are linked above.  Some images are cropped details of the original.

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  • Jessica // Artwork Network

    Purple in general is not at the top of my ‘love’ list, particularly not in pale shades. I don’t see a lot of purple artwork come through our gallery, either. But Pantone was spot on with their prediction of Tangerine in 2013. I can’t wait to see if it takes off!

    • Artsy Forager

      I agree, Jessica, it still isn’t high on my list, either, yet I was surprised to have found so many artists incorporating what I think is a very difficult color so successfully. I agree with you on the Tangerine, I don’t think we saw Emerald take off in quite the same way, will be interesting to see what happens with Radiant Orchid!

      • Jessica // Artwork Network

        Oh, I forgot about Emerald! I’m a year behind. I think it got eclipsed by the orange, which is still raging on – even in Christmas decor!

        You’re right about the examples. Very beautiful pieces. They’ve all used lavender in striking, but minimal ways. That’s probably the trick to all sensational colors, right? ;)

        • Artsy Forager

          Yep, I think so! Small doses work best. ;-)

  • Rebekah

    I love lavendar! Some of my flower photographs are very purple, but I may have taken it too far when I created my website and made the background a shade of purple. I’m working to get over the purple in my new website design. Thanks for sharing such beautiful work!

    • Artsy Forager

      But if you love the color so much, Rebekah, I hope you still incorporate it in your design in some way. It can be your signature color!

      • Rebekah

        I will keep it in my logo… but not all of my photos goes with it so I have to let it go as a main site color. Thank you!