Color Trends for 2011 and How They Could Impact the Architectural Signage Market

Just about every graphic designer and interior designer is familiar with Pantone. Did you know that Pantone selects a “color of the year?” Well, they do and for 2011, Pantone has chosen “Honeysuckle” as the must-have color for this year.

Here is what the folks at Pantone have to say about Honeysuckle: “[It] emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. A dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life.”

Our opinion? It looks like Pepto-bismol, and who besides a dress shop owner, my 3 year-old daughter, or Proctor & Gamble wants this color?

Setting personal opinion aside, what does the selection of Honeysuckle tell us about design trends for 2011? It tells us there is a desire to  brighten environments design-wise even though designers are still being conservative with their budgets. With those two ideas in mind – merging brighter colors on a limited budget – the marketplace for digitally printed graphics inserted into frames or windows signs might see a boost. There are numerous standardized frame signs and modular systems on the market, but it always seems like designers and facility managers fail to maximize the potential of these signs by not bringing more color and graphics into the sign via the paper insert. Instead of a plain white paper insert with a name and title printed on it, how much more difficult would it be to print multi-color graphics onto the insert? It’s actually very easy to do if the designer and facility manager plan to do this before the signs are specified and installed.

On the opposite end of the design and budget-spectrum, digital video walls will continue to grow in popularity as architects and designers realize the potential for these systems and merge branding and wayfinding with interior design and architectural structure. Let there be no doubt — video walls are not cheap, but anyone who makes the investment into a video wall for their conference room or lobby can get their message — whatever it might be — across to anyone they want in an effective and unforgettable manner…and you can work in Pantone’s Honeysuckle color or any other shade or hue of any color you desire.

Tell us what you think about Honeysuckle or if you think another color should be the 2011 color of the year.


  1. swaller

    I can see this being used in certain healthcare facilities, past that – not sure if I would use.

  2. signguy

    The color is not the worst shade I’ve seen, and I agree with Swaller that it could be used in healing-focused hospitals and women’s hospitals, but I’m surprised that Pantone has not look toward the pale metallic colors or hues of blue or orange for the color of the year. Anyway, if I could afford a video wall, I could show just about any color I wanted. Those things are amazing.

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