Color Us Divided: Cases For and Against Radiant Orchid

It’s the Color of 2014, but not everyone is happy about it

Pantone, “the world renowned authority on color,” recently released its choice for Color Of The Year 2014: Radiant Orchid. This year’s winner, which was decided upon only after Pantone literally traversed the globe in search of color influences in art collections, sports events, technology, film, and other arenas, is very likely now destined to show up everywhere—clothing, beauty products, paint, and anywhere else you can think of. Here, our editors debate the choice.

Point: Marielle Wakim, associate editor
There are a few reasons why I’m thrilled that Pantone’s Color of 2014 is Radiant Orchid, not the least of which being that I’m a fan of purple in most any iteration. That said, I can’t say I love a traditional pink—in fact, it’s probably my least favorite color—which is why R.O. wins at life: It’s not purely purple, but it’s also not quite pink. This lilacy hue is warm and inviting and exudes a sort of richness that reminds me of its namesake flower. I’m not saying I want to throw down my keyboard and run to Sherwin-Williams to prepare for a wall painting summit at my apartment this weekend, but I wouldn’t be mad about seeing the color pop up on accent pillows, lamps, comfy throws, or clothes—color me crazy, but I’ll take a man in a navy blue suit and a Radiant Orchid tie any day of the week.  

Counterpoint: Shayna Arnold, senior editor
Radiant Orchid—it sure sounds like a beautiful color. Intrigued, I was excited to see what it looked like when Pantone announced R.O. as the Color of 2014 last week. But when a Google search returned chips of a blush-y, mid-hued purple, I felt a little, well, blue. Not quite lavender and lighter than eggplant, the shade is neither as refreshing as a pastel or as visceral as a gem tone. Like pink’s dingy sister, mauve, it might pair nicely with metallics and other neutrals (and sure, it might look nice painted on your nails), but it’s not rich enough to carry a look—and have that look be exciting—on its own. As the New Year approaches, there’s a lot I’m looking forward to—seeing more of Radiant Orchid isn’t one of them.

Are you a friend or foe of Pantone’s choice? Let us know in the comments below!