Orange the color of 2012
Credit: Startraks Photo (2); Getty Images (2)

Based on what the color company predicts consumers want and need, Pantone annually forecasts the next year’s top hue—and for 2012, they're thinking orange! Factors that went into the decision include runway looks, fabric shows, pop culture, and shoppers’ habits. Tangerine Tango also emerged as a clear winner because, as the Pantone Color Institute’s executive director, Leatrice Eiseman, says, “There's an element of encouragement with orange, it's building on the ideas of courage and action, that we want to move on to better things.” Courage and action, all from one color? Yes please—that’s encouragement enough for us!

—Susannah Edelbaum