Leatrice’s Lesson: Part 1 of 4: Looking at color differently

Every Monday for the next four weeks, we’ll have a new feature called Leatrice’s Lessons. Leatrice Eiseman is the Executive Director of the Pantone Institute. Here are some things she mentioned while giving a talk for a breakfast given by Unisource and International Paper on November 17, 2004.


A color not just of purity, but brilliant


Not just earthy, but rich and robust, because the younger generation associates it with coffee.


Not all blues are tranquil. Bright blues: Almost as exciting as red.


Purple is a color that can be easily misused. Depending on how it sways over to a reddish-purple or a bluish-purple, it can have different meanings. Reddish-purple is more sensual while blueish-purple is more spiritual.


Orange used to say cheap, but it’s still a hot color. It’s quirky and an attention grabber. Apple helped bring orange into industrial design with the orange iBook. Orange will continue to be hot. It will not be going away for some time. So, if you are afraid to use orange in something for fear of it becoming out of style, you may relax.


Yellow is the new orange.

  • Yellow hasn’t been a hot color in a long time.
  • Yellow rooms do not make people crazy. Yellow is good for interiors. Good for dark winter days—physically, it says sunshine.

Hot Pink

Hot Pink, Shocking Pink gives the same message as red–sensual. Hot pink is becoming a more unisex color.

Wow, someone took some outstanding notes from a Leatrice Lesson a couple of years ago. Many of the points are the same.

Source: 11/17/2004 talk by Pantone Insitute Director Leatrice Eiseman at a Unisource/International Paper breakfast

More from the series “Leatrice’s Lessons”

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Tom Saaristo
19 years ago

Very interesting, especially the note on Purple, which has always kinda confused me. I rarely use it. I suppose I still have this purple=royalty thing in my head [something taught to me when I was in grade school”>. I believe yellow is supposed to increase appetite, that’s why kitchens and dining rooms should be painted yellow [though my hallway is painted a chamois yellow and I don’t get particularly hungry walking down the hall”> … Orange is one of my favorite colors. Not “Federal Safety Orange”, but a deeper almost pumpkin-orange. It works so well with my other favorite colors: grey, navy, and green. I’ve been saying it now for two years: I’m coming around to brown … I wonder if it will really ever happen.

laura k.
laura k.
19 years ago

yellow is definitely a weird color. it must be used sparingly and carefully. my sister’s favorite color is yellow. she wears yellow a lot. luckily it looks good on her.

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