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Photo of olive tree with words reading Olive Tree Brown|Image of rectangle with olive tree brown next to square of other colors to coordinate.|Screenshot of Color Picker feature in Illustrator showing color information about Olive Tree Brown

Design Pool’s Pick for Color of the Year 2023

Each December, we reflect on the previous year and take stock of our experiences. We also look ahead at what’s to come and think about how we can express these feelings through color. What is our pick for Color of the Year 2023? These past few years have been unpredictable, to say the least. At the end of 2020, our pick for the color of the year was an optimistic yellow. In 2021, we looked for renewal with a clean white. As 2022 winds down, we’re thinking about the year we just lived through.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that COVID was causing a sense of insecurity and the unknown. All our lives were turned upside down, but at least we were in it together. With the health and economic effects of COVID still reverberating, we are struggling with uncertainties, inflation, and now, talk of a possible recession. How can we express these feelings in a color but also add some hopefulness?

The Design Pool Color of the Year for 2023 is Olive Tree Brown.

The olive tree is one of the oldest trees on planet Earth. It produces fruit in the driest regions and thrives in the harshest environments. They also symbolize peace with the expression “extending an olive branch.”

As we roll into 2023, many of us are looking for stability. As a rich neutral, brown is a grounding color. It is abundant in nature and evokes the feeling of reliability, safety, and honesty. In fashion, wearing the color brown signifies you are realistic, genuine, and dependable.

Though a primarily positive color, brown can sometimes have the unintended effect of making someone heavy and possibly a bit depressed. Fortunately for the color brown, it is a neutral color and pairs well with other colors. Use brown with any other color to uplift brown and keep the energy moving.

What do you feel as we head into 2023?

What is your mood as we finish 2022? How can your attitude and outlook be expressed through color? I’d love to know! Let me know in the comments or tag Design Pool on Instagram to show us your color. See what other people are saying about their picks.

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Kristen Dettoni

Kristen is a visionary textile designer based in Southern New Hampshire with a track record of industry-defining contributions dating back to 1993. She is the Founder of Design Pool and Domanda Design and is an occasional blogger. Her creative influence is reflected in her work across multiple sectors, including automotive, office, hospitality, healthcare and home furnishings. Kristen is an accomplished designer with over thirty years of experience in design with a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She maintains an art practice and exhibits her artwork in juried and group shows throughout the United States. Her artwork has received numerous awards and honorable mentions. Whatever her creative pursuit, Dettoni approaches it with a strong belief in the power of good design to transform our environments and ultimately, our lives.


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