News broke, sometime in the wee hours of this morning, that Pantone has selected their new Color of the Year for 2017. As always, their choice is a mash-up of trends they've been seeing in the fashion and design world and a projection of sorts, hopeful or otherwise, on the year ahead. Last year's colors, rose quartz and a light blue called "serenity," were easy to like—easy on the eyes, easy to mix into the existing color schemes in our wardrobes and homes.
But this year's color—called Greenery, "a fresh and zesty yellow-green," as Pantone puts it—is a little more surprising, and complex. It's meant to symbolize everything from the "lushness of the great outdoors" to the reinvigorating nature of a deep breath, and also "reassurance" in the amidst of our currently tumultuous political climate.
As the New York Times has already pointed out, Greenery green is everywhere in the world of food and home—think of all the green plant walls, and green juices, and matchas, and, well, greens. When, in March, I wrote about how great green paints can be, every designer I reached out to piped up with a green paint suggestion in minutes, all glowing with praise for green walls.
And yet, this particular shade is not as easy to love as baby blue and dusty pink (or even "marsala," the color from two years ago). I polled our company to hear instinctive reactions, and here's what I found.
What people liked about Greenery:
Nostalgia & Throwback Vibes:
- I am into the green. I owned a pair of tennis shoes this color in college. —Sam
- I like it! But as someone who owned an electric orange denim jacket in college, I am into garish. —Olivia
- I like it! I think for housewares it might be an awkward fit, but like that it sort of makes a statement and would fit into a late 70s bucket paired with mustard or a cobalt blue. —Meghan
Positivity & Hopefulness:
- Could the name be better? Yes. (Greenery sounds like the holidays rather than "new beginnings.") But this is the color of spring. The color of buds on trees and new growth pushing up through dead leaves and snow—so bright it almost seems fake. —Lindsay Jean
- I like it—it's lively and bright! The past colors seem muted and it's nice to get something bright. —Eunice
- It's like a reclamation. This year has seen an association of this particular color with gross anthropomorphic frogs, like Kermit, and some really ungainly frog-based memes. It sucks. This Pantone endorsement is like a rejoinder to all of that, like some testament to why this color is, in fact, good. Like spring itself. What's not to love? —Mayukh
The closest our Shop comes to Greenery.
The quickest responses to my inquiry were all negative, such as "NO." Here's why the dissenters were turned off:
Negative associations with the tone itself
- No, gross. It's like gum color. —Anne-Louise
- Gut reaction is a hard no. Too Kermit-y. —Megan
- I don't like it because it looks a little putrid to me, like the color of this sauce I watched in an episode of Chopped where one of the contestants blitzed together lime gelatin and durian fruit. —Riddley
- It's a bit sickly :/ —Connor
- Way too loud; no warmth. All I see is Slimer from Ghostbusters. —Jojo
- I don't like it because I'm not done feeling shitty about the struggles to come in the next four years. Green = go about your business as normal, things will be ok. Feel optimistic. And I disagree. —Josh
- It reminds me of the color that corporations try to use to “look” environmentally-friendly. BP (British Petroleum, the gas station); or the green color added to the outside of cans of crushed tomatoes to make it seem fresh. Clearly I’m jaded. (There’s a pun there.) —Jeff
Muted and richer shades of green in our Shop, respectively.
- I understand that plant/leaf patterns are big. And so is green. But feel this is best achieved by having actual live plants in the home. —Jojo*
- Hate it! It's way too lime green. I'd never want to decorate with this specific color. Wish they had gone for a richer palm leaf green or forest green. :( —Kristina*
*Jojo and Kristina are buyers for our Shop, so don't expect a flood of Kermit-green accents there in the coming year.
- No. Because it's ugly. :) —Tim, who is our Senior Graphic Designer
- Don't love it. Seems like it'd be funky in context—like, a green leaf looks lovely on its own, but the yellow tones and juiciness of it don't seem like they'd be a good fit for a year of being star. —Clare
- Yeah, that's gonna be a "no" for me, dawg. —Zoe
The majority of Food52ers felt conflicted about this color, choosing to defend one thing about it but not another:
- I like the green side of it, not the yellow side (too 70s). —Lauren
- I like this color, yes—it feels nice and fresh (that leaf!) and bright (a salad of a color!) and it makes my eyes widen—but I'm not sure I love it in every application. Colors look different depending on where they are, how they're used, the context in which they're placed (a revelation, right?). I LOVE the chair in the Times article (!!) and can imagine this color would make a really nice blanket against a white linen bedspread (!!), but would I wear this as a sweater or buy a rug in this shade? No. —Sarah
- I don't love the name. And they did emerald recently. I guess it's fresh. —Jovan
Blue-greens, and real greenery greens, from our Shop.
- My natural instinct is that I don't love it—green was my favorite childhood color, and so it feels a bit juvenile to me—but, not understanding the forces of fashion, but knowing they are sneaky and pervasive, I bet in 5 months from now you will find me wearing a shirt in this color and loving it. —Kaitlin
- Generally, I like when the Pantones give a distinct feeling and this really leaves me feeling... not a whole lot. I don't find it exciting. BUT perhaps they are doing it to help bring awareness to climate change, etc? WHO KNOWS. —Kate
- Immediately, I don't love it—it makes me want to squint a little where maybe I'm looking for colors to curl up with. Cozy colors. What I like about it is it's pushing my boundaries. —Kenzi
- Is it more celadon or more green juice, I can't decide? But either don't feel very "current." Celadon is the color of my childhood bathroom and green juice has been around years now. —Ali
- Seems ironic. Is Pantone a bunch of Trump voters? —Liz
While my primary reaction was surprise (it's such a departure from the moody, dusty tones of years past!) I fall pretty squarely in the dislike category. Pantone could have gone even brighter and perkier—as in potato vine green, I earnestly argued to our editorial team—to really drive home the hopefulness and spirit they say they want to achieve. But that said, I didn't attend any runway shows this year—for shame—so I'm not really sure what colors are trotting down the Gucci catwalks.
Greenery: Do you like it or love it or hate it or feel funny about it? (Pantone's version... not the real thing!)