Pantone Corporation, of Carlstadt, New Jersey, has taken on, as part of its mission, congregating an international panel of experts twice a year to choose the "color of the year".
Wikipedia describes the process: "Annually Pantone declares a particular color "Color of the Year". Twice a year the company hosts, in a European capital, a secret meeting of representatives from various nations' color standards groups. After two days of presentations and debate, they choose a color for the following year; for example, the color for summer 2013 was chosen in London in the spring of 2012.
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The color purportedly connects with the zeitgeist; for example the press release declaring Honeysuckle the color of 2011 said 'In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues.'
The results of the meeting are published in Pantone View ($750), which fashion designers, florists, and many other consumer-oriented companies purchase to help guide their designs and planning for future products."
This year's panel chose TANGERINE TANGO as the official color for 2012, and describes how the color invigorates and brightens today's world: “Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”