Best and worst lists were a dime a dozen at the end of 2012, but here’s one accolade that caught my eye: “Color of the Year.” It’s an annual designation that serves as a forecast decreed by Pantone, the venerable provider of color standards for the printing, design, and publishing industries, and which is well-known for its color wheel and Pantone Matching System (PMS).

pantone-color-of-year-2013-emerald copy
Pantone’s “Color of the Year” for 2013: PMS #17-5641

For 2013, Pantone has chosen Emerald (or more specifically, PMS #17-5641) as the color to watch, for its influence on trends, tastes, and moods, and its expected impact on everything from home décor to fashion. Last year, the company tapped #17-1463, or “Tangerine Tango,” as its star, because it “provided the energy boost we needed to recharge and move forward.” (Quiz here about previous “Color of the Year” winners.)

Though not everyone is on board with this year’s selection (“For many people, it’s a flashback to your parents’ living room and big green couch,” says one interior professional), Pantone claims that Emerald is “the color of growth, renewal, and prosperity – no other color conveys regeneration more than green.”

(I decided to check out the PMS chart to identify the shade I’ve been most drawn to lately. Turns out it’s #315, which I guess is sort of a mix of teal and peacock blue. Somewhere in my subconscious, I remember it as the color of my favorite ink for the fountain pens we used in grade school. Maybe the fact that I went into the writing profession wasn’t a coincidence.)

But back to our hue du jour. Even Downton Abbey has been brought into the conversation, with some seeing the emerald color’s associations with luxury as a perfect complement to the American audience’s fascination with the opulent English miniseries. A bit of a stretch, of course, but no harm in a little (colorful) hyperbole…

Downton Abbey Interior
Green permeates an interior from the series “Downton Abbey”