Next year, it will finally be easy being green — or, if not easy, at least popular. Because Pantone has declared emerald green, Pantone shade 17-5641, to be the official color of 2013.

OK, so that doesn’t necessarily translate into green actions, green concerns, or green priorities. But there will probably be green shoes and green nail polish, at least according to Pantone’s trained chromatognosticators. Baby steps, right?

Actually, I don’t recall seeing 2012’s color (Tangerine Tango!) much of anywhere in the last 12 months. And it’s a little hard to tell whether Pantone is predicting that green will be seen everywhere in the coming year, or just that it’s sort of symbolic of the zeitgeist. They’re certainly trying to overdetermine the prevalence of green — Pantone is conspiring with Sephora and J.C. Penney to get emerald green into makeup and housewares — but the press release seems to also be saying that we are just having a green moment. I think. I don’t really speak PR. I mean, can you make heads or tails of this?

“Green is the most abundant hue in nature — the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. This powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors.”

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Me either. But the point is, we’ve been saying for a while that green is the new black, and now we know exactly what shade of green.

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