January 22, 2017 •
The Color Wheel: Mustard


The rise of mustard in late 2016 and throughout 2017 makes a lot of sense, explained Mark Woodman of mark woodman design & color and past president of the Color Marketing Group. “It connotes maize, saffron, and, certainly, gold, so it can be luxurious, healthy and precious. This color was seen as a ‘staff of life’ in Latin America, with its relationship to maize, used in so much cuisine. It is valid around the world and represents so much to different cultures.”

Describing it as a “truly international color,” mustard, which Woodman has dubbed maize in homage to its worldly roots, becomes “more ‘local’” through effects like metallics, sheen levels and textures. “It becomes lush in matte or textured finishes — think flocking! — extravagant in a metallic finish, though in that finish, it should be a mix of matte and polished. As a matter of fact, the color, in and of itself, when shown in two finishes, gives it a modern edge.”

He recommends bringing mustard to life in a timely monochromatic treatment, for example with the outside of an envelope matte and the inside gloss. Or mustard can be on an invitation backer in a pretty matte pattern, and embossed in metallic type on front.

Woodman noted that in stationery treatments, mustard feels especially of the moment when paired with black — following an establishing trend in home fashion — as well as navy, plum and charcoal gray with white. “When coordinated with pink and petrol (think of an oily teal), it has a ‘mid-century for the new century’ vibe,” he observed.

As to how long this color will endure, expect to see it throughout 2017, he finished. “It’s actually a cool summer color as well, though it may get a little more toned, not as vibrant.” — SS

Art For Everyday Flowers calendar comes in three sizes.
Watercolor coaster is from Carlson Craft.
Set of four bee plates is from Creative Co-Op.
eeBoo’s deck of 48 cards improves color vocabulary, including the etymology behind names.
Metallic balloons from Knot & Bow add a chic note to any shindig.
Elegant, sturdy notebooks from Public – Supply through Aesthetic Movement comes with dot or ruled paper.
Anne Bentley Modern Botanicals notecard is from a set from te Neues.
Birthday Wishes Daffodil card from Wrendale Designs features a watercolor by Hannah Dale.
This beastly bestie design is from Yeppie Paper.

Stationery Trends ST Spring 2024 cover
Get one year of Stationery Trends in both print and digital editions for only $15.

Interested in reading the print issue of Stationery Trends?

Subscribe Today »