Strategies & Insights

Pantone 2015 color of the year: Marsala

Posted: December 15, 2014 by
Linda Casey

Pantone, an X-Rite company and the global color authority, has named Pantone 18-1438 Marsala, a naturally robust and earthy wine red, as the Color of the Year for 2015.

"While PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid, the captivating 2014 color of the year, encouraged creativity and innovation, Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability," says  Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

"Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors."


Marsala was a hit on the Spring 2015 runways with fashion designers featured in the Pantone Fashion Color Report Spring 2015; Daniel Silverstain, Herve Leger by Max Azria and Dennis Basso incorporated the hue into their collections. The impactful, full-bodied qualities of Marsala make for an elegant statement color when the color is used on its own or as a compelling accent when paired with many other colors.

With the ever-growing popularity of floral prints and striping, variations of this hue will undoubtedly carry into men's and women's clothing throughout next year. Marsala is also a popular choice for jewelry and fashion accessories, including handbags, hats, footwear and the burgeoning market of wearable technology.

This highly varietal shade combines dramatically with neutrals, including warmer taupes and grays. Because of its burnished undertones, sultry Marsala is highly compatible with amber, umber and golden yellows, greens in both turquoise and teal, and blues in the more vibrant range.

A rich contrasting color, Marsala is a good fit for graphic design and packaging. Eye-catching, but not overwhelming or bright, consumers are immediately drawn to the hue, making it an alluring shade at point-of-purchase. As packaging becomes increasingly more artistic, Marsala will be a natural fit for both high- and low-tech materials, including on-shelf periodicals as well as printed assets, like calendars and stationery.

Pantone 18-1438 Marsala can also be cross-referenced to all other PANTONE Libraries, including Pantone Plus for graphic design. For cross-referencing information, see

The Color of the Year selection requires careful consideration and, to arrive at the selection, Pantone combs the world looking for color influences. This can include the fashion and entertainment industries – including films that are in production, the world of art, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from technology, the availability of new textures and effects that impact color, and even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention.


For 15 years, Pantone's Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design. Past colors include:

    PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid (2014)

    PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald (2013)

    PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)

    PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)

    PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)

    PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa (2009)

    PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris (2008)

    PANTONE 19-1557 Chili Pepper (2007)

    PANTONE 13-1106 Sand Dollar (2006)

    PANTONE 15-5217 Blue Turquoise (2005)

    PANTONE 17-1456 Tigerlily (2004)

    PANTONE 14-4811 Aqua Sky (2003)

    PANTONE 19-1664 True Red (2002)

    PANTONE 17-2031 Fuchsia Rose (2001)

    PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean (2000)