Pantone Reveals 2012 Color of the Year: Tangerine Tango

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"A spirited reddish-orange": Pantone 17-1463 Tangerine Tango

Carlstadt, NJ–Everyone from Tommy Dorsey to Led Zepplin has praised “Tangerine” through song and dance, now the orange shade is set to take center stage in fashion and design.

On Thursday, Pantone, an X-Rite company and the global authority on color,  announced Pantone 17-1463 “Tangerine Tango” will be color of the year for 2012.

The “vivacious, enticing hue” will succeed this year’s color of the year, Pantone 18-2120 “Honeysuckle,” a color that “encouraged us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor,” Pantone said.

But in a deliberate move—not unlike that of a tango step—Tangerine Tango, “a spirited reddish orange, continues to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.”

‘A Magnetic Hue That Emanates Heat and Energy’

“Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”

Orange has grown in popularity in recent years, Pantone noted, and Tangerine Tango already is grabbing attention as part of Pantone’s  Fashion Color Report Spring 2012. Among the designers incorporating the color in fashion are Tommy Hilfiger, Nanette Lepore, Cynthia Steffe by Shaun Kearney, Elie Tahari and Adrienne Vittadini.

"A high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.” (photo: Frederic Cirou/Corbis)

Yet with its “fun lively take on fun, lively take on a traditional autumnal hue,” Tangerine Tango will surely carry through to fall fashion, too, Pantone said.

Since Tangerine Tango is a bit exotic, but in a very friendly, non-threatening way, Pantone said it is ideal for cosmetics, too. “An unexpected eye shadow color, Tangerine Tango is a complementary opposite that flatters blue or green eyes. When paired with brown eyes, it brings out an amber cast,” Pantone said.

Pantone 17-1463 Tangerine Tango can also be cross-referenced to all other Pantone Libraries including Pantone Plus and Pantone Goe for graphic design. For cross-referencing information, see

About the Pantone Color of the Year

The color of the year selection is a very thoughtful process. To arrive at the selection, Pantone quite literally combs the world looking for color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films that are in production, traveling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from technology, availability of new textures and effects that impact color, and even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention.


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