Ocean-Inspired Color Trend: Deep Emerald

Topics: Design Best Practices, Web Design

When color authority Pantone® announced emerald as the color of the year, I pictured a bright, luminescent emerald as seen on the Emerald City from “The Wizard of Oz.” Fortunately, the trend has gone a different direction.

In the past few months, a deep, dark emerald has taken hold in design—graphic, interior and fashion. It feels inviting, rich and refreshing. The surfacing of this emerald color goes hand-in-hand with the nautical trend that has been prevalent for the past few years, featuring beautiful octopus illustrations, coral-inspired lamp stems and decorative bowls, colorful fish patterned dresses, and seashells as jewelry.

Incorporating this deep emerald color into a digital experience must be done carefully and methodically. The first thing to take into account is the brand’s color palette. Is the brand flexible enough to accommodate this color? Will this color complement existing standard colors? Second, this color should be implemented in limited ways to ensure an easy transition at the end of the trend. A short-term campaign is a perfect opportunity to experiment with emerald. Third, one should assess whether the color complements the message. This deep emerald color communicates tranquility, balance and rejuvenation.

It’s hard to predict how long this trend will last, partly because it’s not entirely clear why it has taken hold in the first place. Is the advancement of deep sea exploration triggering imaginations? Or is there a societal longing for a tranquil tropical getaway? Whatever the reason, I’m enticed to dive deep into emerald.

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