Color Trends: Orange Is the New Pink

On the evening before during the meeting of a creative team I’m leading, one team member made the statement that orange is a hideous color and no one likes it, so therefore it would not be appropriate used in the particular identity program we were discussing. Having observed varieties of orange in common used, I disagreed, and we had a lighthearted argument.

On the day after, I was recounting the discussion to my students when I happened to look around the classroom and noticed the amount of orange in the room. Almost all of the various branded shopping bags and totes the students used to transport their projects had orange in their design. So I pulled out my iPhone and happily photographed the bags as proof that orange is indeed liked by many and is widely used in design solutions.

Color trends come and go. Orange, which is an energizing and somewhat forceful color, has been enjoying a widespread popularity not seen since the 1970s. It’s used brighter and bolder than the burnt oranges back then, and is often paired with neutral grays or earth tones. As one student commented, “Orange is the new pink”.

Orange Bag 1
Orange Bag 2
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Orange Bag 5

Alvalyn Lundgren

Alvalyn Lundgren is the founder and principal of Alvalyn Creative, an independent consultancy providing brand strategy design and bespoke illustration for more than 30 years. She is the creator of Freelance Road Trip — a business school and podcast for creative freelancers. She teaches design and design practice on the college level with design schools and programs.