What’s the color of optimism?

Designers and marketers are hoping to inject some optimism and reassurance into people’s lives during these hard economic times—with color.

Every December, PANTONE, the world’s color leader, chooses the color that will represent the upcoming year. Last month they announced that 2009 will be filled with color 14-0848, aka “Mimosa”.

“The color yellow exemplifies the warmth and nurturing quality of the sun, properties we as humans are naturally drawn to for reassurance,” said PANTONE Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman. “It is a hue that sparks imagination and innovation.” Which is why, of course, it’s named after the cocktail.

Mimosa is also versatile. It coordinates with many other colors. It appeals to both men and women. And it can work in all types of design. So look for women’s accessories, home interiors and furnishings, active wear, and men’s shirts and ties in PANTONE 14-0848.

In addition to naming the upcoming year’s color, PANTONE also researches seasonal color pallets that will be used on the hottest runways across the world. Spring 2009 stays close to the intoxicating warmth of Mimosa.

Only a few days into 2009, we already see this optimism in Pepsi’s new brand identity. The idea? Keep people smiling.

The company took a big leap by making their ubiquitous logo and type treatments a bit more whimsical. While Coke rests on tradition and classicism, Pepsi wants to be the fun-loving friend we all need right now.

Next comes the campaign that keeps people smiling. The newest commercial seems like it’s on every commercial break. And though repetition usually sours commercials, you can’t help but smile every time you see this one. They flat-out say ‘optimism’ and ‘happy’ in the spot. And they even have a Mimosa-like color.

Pepsi won’t be the last brand to champion optimism. Keep your eyes open and you are sure to experience the tipsy joy of Mimosa and its brethren everywhere you look. Whether it’s in a commercial, on the fashion runway, or even in your newly decorated kitchen, cheers to a bright 2009.

– Contributed by Erin Black