Pantone of 2015: Marsala

So it’s that time of the year again – no I’m not talking health kick diets or resolutions, but the Pantone of the Year. What does this mean? Well, that trends will be forecast, products created and creatives will either love it or hate it.

Pantone started announcing their ‘colour of the year’ in 2000, and 15 years on, after 2014’s ‘Radiant Orchid’ we are met by Marsala.


What is Marsala? Most of us will be familiar with the wine variety but in this case, it’s a deep red-ish, brown-ish, rusty kind of colour. The photoshoot by Pantone definitely shows it’s potential – it looks gorgeous in fabric form paired with blues and other berry tones like reds and purples. And all the ladies out there will know that this colour is going to work in the beauty world; think lipsticks, blush and smoky eyes, but as a graphic designer, I’m not sure I’m going to be seeing much of it.

I scoured Pinterest and Designspiration in search of some graphicy/typographic/papery/printed examples of Marsala, and this is what I found:


Starting strong with this gorgeous wood type alphabet via the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum – the largest collection of Wood type in the USA.

Screen shot 2014-12-31 at 18.49.19

Abstract and shine from Frank Hueslboemer’s Neurological snapshots series.


Type and illustration with this San Francisco print by Albert and Marie via Etsy.


I love this berry tone layered type by 8 Faces.

Pantone_Louise Bourgeois

Is it an eye? Is it a 0? Marsala mystery with this Louise Bourgeois print from MoMA.


I spy a Marsala gradient amongst these from Akatre.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about Marsala at first but I think I’m actually warming up to it and can even see some of those rich tones shining through in foiling details:


Beautiful bronze by Magpie studio…


…and copper by Swiss studio, A3. It’s all in the details – Print’s not dead!

Are you feeling on-trend in Marsala? Do you dare to take the plunge into the deep tones? How do you see it fitting into your life this year?



  • Corina

    02/01/2015 at 5:02 pm

    I think I like Marsala. It seems like a kind of natural color. Even though that natural means blood-ish. 😉

    • Natasha Nuttall

      03/01/2015 at 1:53 pm

      Haha yes I have heard a lot of people saying the same! I quite like it in some contexts but I don’t see it being a colour we live our lives by in 2015. Still, any excuse for a bit of copper/bronze foil – I’m such a magpie ha 🙂

  • Lauren

    02/01/2015 at 7:31 pm

    I really love Marsala but I definitely think I’ll be seeing it more in my clothing than my design work. I usually go for more cooler colours than warm but maybe I just need to mix it up a bit!
    Lauren // OhHay Blogs!

    • Natasha Nuttall

      03/01/2015 at 1:59 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Lauren, I totally agree with you on that one. I don’t think it’s the best colour for design – I think it’s too dark and rich, and I’m not sure if it would print that well either? I think cooler colours are a bit more uplifting and lighter compared to Marsala but I’m thinking about giving it a go… 🙂 xx

  • Danielle

    04/01/2015 at 1:05 pm

    If Marsala means a rise in copper foil, it’ll make 2015 at least a little more luxe! 🙂


  • Victoria

    04/01/2015 at 7:07 pm

    Oh my, that copper foil from Magpie Studios is amazing. I didn’t like that colour when the email was sent through to me, but having seen this inspiration I can actually appreciate its richness. Definitely be good in velvets, foils and metals in terms of interiors <3 great work as always love bug! 🙂 Vic x

    • Natasha Nuttall

      04/01/2015 at 8:50 pm

      Thanks lovely. Yes I was skeptical and at first I drafted this post to be hating on Marsala, but I gave it a second chance and now I’m keeping my fingers crossed for foil on EVERYTHING this year ha 🙂 Oooh velvet and metals – I hadn’t thought about those but both get a thumbs up from me! (Your DIY candle holders are SO on trend 😉 xx

  • Suzy Marie

    04/01/2015 at 9:42 pm

    I love it! I’m fan of autumn, warm type colours and this fits right in. I’ll definitely be looking out for this for probably every item of clothing I buy this year haha.

    • Natasha Nuttall

      05/01/2015 at 12:24 am

      I think Autumn is my favourite season Suzy 🙂 Yes, I think it will work for clothing – I’ve already got a Marsala coloured skirt actually!

  • Amy

    07/01/2015 at 10:08 pm

    I think I like it. Maybe a bit too brown for me but it would look great on clothing!

    • Natasha Nuttall

      07/01/2015 at 10:32 pm

      Yes I think that’s what everyone is saying – it’s a colour we all want to wear but otherwise are not too sure how it will fit into our 2015!

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