Meet “Tangerine Tango,” 2012 Color of the Year.

It is my first year knowing of this curiosity called “Color of the Year,” which at its essence is a very clever marketing tactic. Before you jump to conclusions, remember I am a marketer by day so I don’t mean to be snarky. I think this is a brilliant campaign, harnessing something we already love (color) and channeling it into different aspects of life (paint, clothes, even makeup and our mood!).

This post is the first of a series about the color orange. It’s just luck that it’s the Color of the Year; I have loved orange for a long time, as a Broncos fan, former Orioles fan! In fact, I’m calling the series “Orange Crush” in honor of my favorite football team.

Also, I like how“Color of the Year” inspires the crafty blogging and Twitter community. I tend to pick muted colors, so I’ve decided to embrace the inspiration too and take part in the Tangerine Tango Quilt Challenge.


Crafty inspiration is nice, but being a bit of a nerd, I couldn’t leave it at that. So I explored other ways Pantone hopes Color of the Year will permeate our world, and I’m here to report back on the extent of where you may see Tangerine Tango…pretty much everywhere.


First, a little more on Pantone and its “Color of the Year” campaign:

Pantone calls itself the “world-renowned authority on color.” Last year’s color, Honeysuckle, “encouraged us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor.” Now,

Tangerine Tango, a spirited reddish orange, continues to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.

So color isn’t just aesthetic; to Pantone, it’s mood. And if Honeysuckle was the recession color, and Tangerine Tango is supposed to help us get out of it.

Even if you’re not a crafter, you’ve probably heard of Pantone. I first learned about it in high school, as editor of my school newspaper, because Pantone colors are prevalent in publishing & graphics. The simplest way to describe it: if there’s a color in a magazine or newspaper, on a book cover, on just about any printed product, it has a Pantone number and name. This is the way we can share colors without just saying, “Yeah, use that orangey reddish color for the headline, kay?” Instead, you say, “Let’s use Tangerine Tango, Pantone 17-1463,” which then corresponds to an RGB code or another number that very specifically refers to that exact color you see at the top of the page. Pantone also sells swatches, which help you match print colors — I write about this more below in the fabric section.

Pantone also has its hands in the fashion and textile industry, and that’s largely where the Color of the Year comes in. For example, Elie Tahari used this color combo in their spring line.

And now Pantone is partnering with Sephora to create a line of makeup in Tangerine Tango. Personally, I’m unlikely to wear orange colors on my face, but again, with my marketing hat on, this is synergy at it’s best. What a smart way to infuse yet more of a color into our lives. Here is January Jones, looking gorgeous in orange:

Pantone also sells (very expensive) swatch sets — little bits of cotton that give textile designers an idea of what a color will look like in a fabric (there are swatches for print and plastic too). Fabric artists and manufacturers use these to develop lines in the color family — ie, not just Tangerine Tango but colors that match it too.

That brings me full circle — this is the bundle I’m buying to get me started on that quilt challenge!

I’ll be back soon with more Orange Crush!

~ Kristina