August 8-10, 2023 | Wisconsin Center | Milwaukee, WI

The Pantone Color of the Year: What It Means for Independent Garden Centers

Pantone has announced the 2022 Color of the Year: Very Peri. This article discusses the meaning of the choice and how independent garden centers can incorporate it into their merchandising and marketing strategies.

Pantone has announced the Color of the Year for 2022, and after last year’s gray and yellow combination, they’ve chosen a color garden centers and florists can get excited about. For 2022, Pantone has developed a new shade of blue-purple called Very Peri. In some ways, it’s a familiar color, calling to mind popular flowers such as lavender, orchid, and, of course, periwinkle, but the more you look at it, the more unique its particular blend of blue and red becomes.

The Pantone Color Institute, which forecasts color trends and advises many companies on brand identity, chooses their Color of the Year by analyzing trends in art, design, fashion, and entertainment. Their choice seeks to capture the zeitgeist and give all those who work with color an idea of what the new year will bring.

This year’s color is representative of our “transformative times” and “transition,” according to Pantone. After over a year of isolation, many people are rethinking their values and standards, and this color captures the new possibilities for the future, says Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, in a blend of “trusted and beloved blue” and a “violet red undertone, [displaying] a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages courageous creativity and imaginative expressions.”

Using the Color of the Year

The spring season, as well, is a time of transition, and serves as a microcosm of the big societal trends Pantone is hoping to capture in this choice of color. A theme of renewal and regeneration would work well for spring merchandising displays, and incorporating Very Peri into those themes will offer customers an intuitive visual representation of that theme. This is the first time Pantone has created a brand new color for their Color of the Year, and anyone who uses it in their merchandising or marketing materials will certainly turn some heads.

Florists might want to consider designing wedding floral arrangements around the color, as it combines two strong, contrasting colors with such a striking yet peaceful result, symbolizing the union of two people.

But a simpler, and perhaps even more effective, way to use the Color of the Year is in your social media posts.  

Which Flowers Are Closest to Very Peri?

Very Peri is a unique color, created just this year by Pantone. Since it is a transitional color, it is best captured in gradients. Many solid flowers are too red or too blue to represent this color, but flowers such as orchids that fade from white in the center to darker shades and the tips can approximate this intriguing hue.

Petunias come in a variety of colors. While they require a lot of water and sunlight, a healthy petunia garden or container is a truly beautiful sight. They exemplify the idea of capturing the Color of the Year in a gradient. Most purple petunias are rich in reddish hues, but there are blue and lavender varieties, such as the Daddy Blue hybrid, whose white petals have blue edges and veins of rich purple, these colors combining to form a lovely periwinkle hue. Red and orange petunias complement purple ones well, creating a contrast that brings out their beauty.

Anemone is another flower that grows in a wide range of colors, but they are a little easier to care for than petunias. Its purple variety is particularly striking, pale on the top and dark on the bottom. As with petunias, red and orange anemones provide a dramatic contrast to the purple variety.

Very Peri’s namesake periwinkle is best known for its rich shade of sky blue, but their color ranges over the blue-purple spectrum. As a symbol of both hope and nostalgia, the flower captures some of what Pantone is getting at with Very Peri: reimagining the best of the past to realize a better future.

A clematis vine is a spectacular addition to any garden, and its pale purple variety is as whimsical and dynamic as Very Peri. It also adds a vertical dynamism to a garden and can be upsold with a trellis, especially if the customer is interested in upgrading their outdoor space.

Some shades of hydrangea get pretty close to Very Peri, and being a plant that flowers in the spring and autumn, it fits with the transitional, transformative ethos of the color, as well.

Last year’s colors, yellow and gray, may not have been the most inspiring for independent garden centers and florists, but Very Peri is exciting and full of potential. Pantone calls it a color “whose courageous presence encourages personal inventiveness and creativity.” How will you unleash your creativity and use Very Peri in your merchandising displays, marketing, and inventory in 2022?

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