Color of the Year 2014

PANTONE — the globally recognized color authority and provider of professional standards and tools for the design industries — enlisted Sub Rosa to announce the 2014 Color of the Year through a creative campaign. Sub Rosa generated a narrative and resulting imagery that connected the color to culture, enabling PANTONE to converse about the color in compelling and relevant ways throughout the year.

Client Conversation


Pantone asked Sub Rosa to assist with the launch of its influential Color of the Year campaign, which forecasts and predicts the most relevant color for the year ahead. For 2014, Pantone wanted to take a fresh approach to its inauguration of the chosen purple hue: Radiant Orchid 18-3224. The approach needed to reflect the brand’s more than 50 years of esteemed experience, while also positioning the event to thrive in the uncharted year to come.



Through the Pantone Color Institute™, Pantone continues to chart future color directions and possibilities, studying how color influences human thoughts, emotions and physical reactions. Since its inception in 2000, Color of the Year has become a year-round tool for designers worldwide to project and plan their designs, whether it be in fashion, product, graphics, etc. Traditionally, the campaign to introduce the color leaned heavily on objects to communicate the attributes and characteristics of the color. Sub Rosa quickly realized there was an opportunity to make the color the hero — not the object; this shift opened up the potential to make imagery that was less prescriptive and more provoking, empowering designers of all industries to envision Radiant Orchid’s potential application in their particular sphere of expertise.

Our Work

Radiant Orchid’s full, unique personality took center stage; backed by color intelligence from the Pantone Color Institute, a concept was developed that enabled the color’s confidence, joy, love, and health to be brought to life. Harmonious environments were created that filled the frame with washes of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones. As Pantone’s agency of record for 2013, Sub Rosa stewarded the creative relaunch of this campaign from beginning to end, continuing post-launch with ongoing social media messaging and fan engagement. Specific activities for this work included creating the campaign concept, producing and managing the photo shoot, developing a core set of images for online and and offline channels, key media and fans on social media. A second round of images were created for social media channels, tying the Color of the Year to events happening in each calendar month to enable the brand to discuss the color in relevant ways — all year long.



The impact of this new, “color-first” approach for conceptualizing the Color of the Year campaigns has fundamentally changed how Pantone thinks about this highly public moment. This bold declaration of the centrality of color received an unprecedented response by the industry, media, and the brand’s community on social media.