Feature photo by iboy_daniel

According to Pantone, and as reported on websites The Daily Beast and Shine from Yahoo!, honeysuckle is the color to beat in 2011. Pantone, the color authority, reported that last year’s color was to be a turquoise which would provide an escapism from the trials and tribulations we could that have happened throughout the course of last year. The almost-marine blue infused us with a sense of security and provided a crutch for the terrible events of 2010. It is true, what with fluctuating economies, natural disasters, rampant violence and unparalleled grief all around, the calming effect that turquoise provided was much needed to weather the proverbial storm.

However, honeysuckle is a very different contrast to this. The warm, vibrant coral-like pink creates the confidence one needs to blaze the trails of a very different world, albeit one we’ve grown accustomed to. According to the Pantone website, it’s reasons for choosing the color involve one word sentences and defiant buzz:

“Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color, for a brave new world. Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It’s a color for every day – with nothing “everyday” about it.”

It may sound like a bunch of gibberish you’d find on the back of a bottle of sun-tan lotion, but there is a lot of truth to it. The fact is colors can help us cope, affect our decision making process, and sway/enhance our mood. Many of you wouldn’t even begin to understand what I was talking about and make me out to be a nutjob. If you don’t understand immediately, chances are you never will. Colors are important to people who have a scientific approach to them. Other people see them as an hindrance or as a novelty. To those of you with the same mindset please read on, but if you’re taking this whole concept as a joke, well you know where the door is.

Moving on, I feel compelled to disagree with Pantone (come on, you knew that was coming), at least technically. I do agree with the warm tone of the shade, however the color itself leaves me a bit dry. I would’ve have preferred a more orange-infused tint, perhaps a blatant coral as opposed to a cheerful pink. Here are some of my candidates for future color of the year:

Tenné or Tawny

Though technically a stain, this shade of brown is seen primarily in heraldic circumstances. The color is more of an orange-brown which is somber enough to reflect upon the slow but sure recovery of worldwide economies while also retaining a bit of a comforting glow that provides a rusty optimism.

Persian Orange

A throwback from imperial times, the color is most likely associated with pottery and Persian carpets. The dusty, peach-like color is akin to earthenware which, at the best of times, heralds periods of extreme innovation in the guise of Mesopotamia. The color gives off an ancient connotation which boosts the brashness and willingness to weather whatever life throws at you be it a plague, barbarians or your mortgage payments.


The color not the fruit, both of them are nonetheless extremely rich and delicious. The color is said to closely resemble the fruit when it is ripe which can be very useful for the world around you. In 2010, the world had changed drastically from 2009 and we were stuck in an emotional and financial rut. The global hubris was low and the need for escape was vital. But as with all these other colors, persimmon gives off a strength and brave vibe that can be used to conquer a newly appointed world order, even at the most immediate municipal level.


This color, meant to describe the brown coats of dogs and horses, is in the same vein as tawny. It serves a somber purpose which is not too boastful or bashful. It is an adult color when seen on a flat surface and not the bristly hair of the equestrian or canine. It serves the purpose of showing the world that you have grown up in an all but innocent world and that the maturity that has surfaced as a result becomes, not a barrier but a benefit.


Meant to describe the color of bark on a tree trunk, it too has an air of maturity with the added convention of elegance missing from tawny or liver. It has an air of grace to it that prepares one’s year for the grand glamour of independence and fearlessness. For city-dwellers, it’s the perfect color to stand out alongside the concrete surrounding you. It shows you embrace the urbanite’s geography and do not deign to live in it. It’s a gentle irony.


Lastly, this viticulture epic is one that exudes the most fun. Being named and modeled after the red wine Burgundy from the eponymous region in France, it refers to good times potentially found in the adaptation that we have had to succumb to in order to survive the present humors found in our society.

These are mere suggestions and I implore you to dare to go against the grain and pick out whatever color best suits your 2011 and as always:

Don’t be a stranger, but do be stranger

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