Pantone has announced its colour of the year for 2015: Marsala.  The colour is named after Marsala, the fortified wine that is produced in Marsala City in Italy. The wine, much like the colour is strong yet sweet and hearty.

What is Pantone? 

Pantone developed the Pantone Matching System or PMS. This system is used all over the world. PMS standardizes colours so different manufacturers from different locations can refer to one system to make sure they are working with the same colour even if they do not have direct contact with each other. Put simply, if a code is given to a printer in Australia and the same to a printer to China, the colours on the end product would be the same. Pantone is originally a printing company and has ventured into paint, fabrics and plastics.

How Pantone chooses colour of the year

Marsala appeals to both men and women. In fashion, the colour is seen in both clothing and accessory. Burberry and Dolce Gabbana are both some of the fashion brands that featured Marsala on their runways. Sephora and MAC Cosmetics have released a line of Marsala inspired lipsticks for the season.

The selection for colour of the year is not only based on fashion and beauty trends. According to Pantone’s executive director, Leatrice Eiseman, ‘It has to resonate around the world, to express in colour what is taking place in the global zeitgeist.’


Every year, Pantone holds a two day secret meeting where colour experts list their favorite hues and narrow down to one colour that ends up the colour of the year. The experts present their colours of choice, its merits and why it should be named colour of the year. This year Pantone named Marsala colour of the year because enriches the mind, body and soul and exudes confidence and stability. The importance of the colour of the year is that it is the colour that symbolizes current world views and feelings.

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For 2015, Marsala is chosen as the colour of the year with its rich, warm and earthy hue. It is a timeless staple to beauty as it can be worn throughout the seasons. Marsala can be used to add warmth to home interiors.It is easily paired with other colours (go to the Pantone site to see the pairings). Marsala is bold and dramatic without overdoing it. It can be added to all elements of creative and design.

For formulas and pairings check this guide for your CMYK, RGB and HEX codes.

Leatrice Eiseman summarises what the colour means beautifully, ‘Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us into its embracing warmth.’

What do you think of Pantone’s colour of the year? Let us know in the comments.

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