From Radiant to Robust

December 12, 2014

For the 15th consecutive year, Pantone has recently revealed its chosen hue to best reflect what is taking place in the global culture. A natural and robust earthy wine red, Marsala is rooted in the brown family possessing warm undertones of red, yellow and orange. The full-bodied brownish-red provides a psychological connection to nature while still exuding a rich and sophisticated robustness. Leatrice Eiseman, an Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute professes, “This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

While Pantone acknowledges that the selection of Marsala (Pantone 18-1438) was a somewhat surprising choice  – a great contrast to past years' more vibrant shades, like 2014's Radiant Orchid – they also recognize a natural fondness toward the color. Browns are traditionally colors of comfort and contentment, described as grounded, protective and down to earth. They are associated with shelter – as in woods and tree bark – and wholesomeness – as in nourishing breads and whole grain. These associations create an instinctive affection.

The richness of Marsala adds to its attractiveness, making it feel warm earthy rather than a cool association like dirt. It draws attention by being eye-catching, but not overwhelming. The shade is appealing for its associations with rich chocolate and robust coffee, alluding to a more sophisticated earthiness. The red undertones exude confidence, strength, and an overall assured contentment.

As both an elegant statement color and an attractive accent color, Marsala is exceptionally versatile. It pairs well with both neutrals and warmer taupes, but is also “highly compatible with amber, umber and golden yellows, greens in both turquoise and teal, and blues in the more vibrant range,” according to Pantone. For this reason, Marsala was also selected as one of the Spring 2015 Top 10 Colors for Men and Women’s Fashion according to Women’s Wear Daily.

Be assured that Marsala will continue to be a trend in design and fashion, as Pantone’s color selection resonates around the world, reflecting “what people need”.