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What Pantone's Color of the Year Means in Cultures Around the World

Pantone's color of the year is Emerald. What does that mean to people around the world?

Pantone, the "authority on color" for over 50 years, has announced 2013's color of the year: Emerald. PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald to be exact. What this means is they expect to see this elegant hue appear on the fashion runways, used in interiors like bedding, pillows, kitchens, in makeup collections, and with creative endeavors of all mediums.

To arrive at their choice (2012's was tangerine) they used the not-so-scientific process of trawling the globe for color influences in everything from films in production, art collections, travel destinations, and even upcoming global sports events.

Emerald, according to Pantone's press release is "a vivid, verdant green, enhances our sense of well-being further by inspiring insight as well as promoting balance and harmony. Most often associated with brilliant, precious gemstones, the perception of Emerald is sophisticated and luxurious. Since antiquity, this luminous, magnificent hue has been the color of beauty and new life in many cultures and religions. Also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity, no other color conveys regeneration more than green. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity."

It's also widely known, however, that colors have different associations based on culture. So for those across the globe PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald will look like a different thing to different people. For instance, in Hindu cultures green is often connected with insight, good luck, life and love; in Eastern Europe its family and eternity; in the Western world we often think of money, good luck, nature, Christmas, "go" in regards to signage, and the environment. In many Latin American cultures, green is the color of death; in the Middle East the shade is widely linked to Islam, as well as representing strength, fertility, luck and wealth. So as emerald enters 2013's aesthetic vernacular, what does the color mean to you?

Images courtesy of Pantone

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