For all us colour addicts out there, the announcement of the Pantone Colour of the Year is an event we all wait for. A representation of the current world we live in, the colour is carefully selected by a panel of experts who comb the globe looking for influences and studying trend analysis. For 20 years, Pantone’s Colour of the Year has influenced purchasing decisions and product development across a range of industries from fashion and homeware, to industrial design and product packaging. The colour experts look for inspiration everywhere to make their annual choice. Including the entertainment industry, film production, art collections, new artists, travel destinations and all areas of design, influences are also drawn from socio-economic conditions, and new technologies, materials and textures which have impacted the use of colour in the year previously. Take a look at the current Pantone Colour of the Year and the shades that came before it...
2020: Classic Blue
The Pantone Colour of the Year 2020 has been announced as Pantone 19-4502 Classic Blue which symbolises protection, stability, peace and confidence. It encourages open mindfulness, deep thinking and communication. This calming hue is imprinted in our minds as restful and tranquil to the human spirit, offering refuge in difficult times and re-centring the mind in times of confusion.
The colour experts at Pantone who are tasked with choosing the top shade of the year were inspired by our current climate where technology continues to race ahead of the human ability to process it all. At this time we’re gravitating to colours that we see as honest and that offer the promise of protection. Non-aggressive and easily relatable, you’ll want to dive straight in.
'We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. “Imbued with a deep resonance, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue provides an anchoring foundation. A boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication.'
2019: Living Coral
The Pantone Colour of the Year 2019 was announced as Living Coral, an animated hue with a warm golden undertone which is the uplift we all need. Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral is vibrant, yet mellow with a warmth which provides comfort and buoyancy in our continuously tumultuous environment. It has been chosen as a reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and how social media is now embedded in our daily life, which is leading us to find authentic and immersive experiences which create connections and intimacy. Living Coral is social and spirited and this engaging colour welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. The colour symbolises our need for optimism and joyful pursuits and embodies our need for playful expression.
It’s a colour that appears both in our natural surroundings yet also has a lively presence on social media. Emitting the familiar and energising aspects of the colour found in nature, the glorious but sadly more elusive displays of it in the natural world are mesmerising and effervescent to the eye and the mind. At the centre of the naturally vivid underwater ecosystem, the colour is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter for a diverse kaleidoscope of colour under the waves.
Colour is an equalising lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities and this is particularly true of Living Coral. With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanising and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial Pantone Living Coral hit a responsive chord. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director or the Pantone Color Institute
2018: Ultra Violet
In 2018, the future was here and it was purple. Pantone announced their 2018 Colour of the Year as Ultra Violet, which is a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple hue. Communicating originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking, it is a colour that points towards the future and heralds in a new thought process on where to go next.Both complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead and the discoveries beyond where we are now. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute said of the shade:
We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level. From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.
Greenery was announced by Pantone as the Colour of the Year 2017. Symbolic of new beginnings, this refreshing and revitalising shade was the perfect antidote to 2016. Described as a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade, Pantone 15-0343 evokes the first days of spring and of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors.
Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute, explains the thoughts behind the important decision:
While Serenity and Rose Quartz, the Pantone Colour of the Year 2016, expressed the need for harmony in a chaotic world. Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the hope we collectively yearn for amid a complex social and political landscape. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate, revitalise and unite, Greenery symbolises the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.
According to Pantone, Greenery is a life-affirming shade and is emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality. A constant on the periphery, Greenery is an omnipresent hue around the world and has many positive connotations.
The tangy yellow-green speaks to our desire to express, explore, experiment and reinvent imparting a sense of buoyancy, Eiseman explains. Through its reassuring yet assertive vibrancy, Greenery offers us self-assurance and boldness to live life on our own terms, during a time when we are redefining what makes us successful and happy.
2016: Rose Quartz & Serenity
The Pantone Colour of the Year for 2016 was unveiled as not one, but two colours for the first time in its history. Serenity and Rose Quartz are softer take on the usually bolder colours and the shades of blue and pink were chosen to evoke a mindset of tranquillity and peace according to the colour authority.
With the whole greater than its individual parts, joined together Serenity and Rose Quartz demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace, Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute
With many questioning why Pantone deciding to break the mould and choose two shades this year, Pantone explained their reasoning;
The colour, or in this case, colours we select to be our Pantone Colour of the Year are symbolic; they are a colour snapshot of what we see taking place in our culture at a particular moment in time.
Many people picked up on the fact that each of these shades has historically been paired with a specific gender, and questioned if the duality decision has anything to do with gender equality and the world’s changing attitude towards this and gender identity as a whole.
The colour experts at Pantone announced that the deep and rich warm burgundy shade of Marsala was be their Colour of the Year for 2015. At the opposite end of the colour spectrum from year before's cool lilac shade of Radiant Orchid, Marsala heated up the year’s fashion and interior landscapes.
The robust and earthy wine red hue is the perfect choice to refresh your home and your wardrobe, making it another fantastic choice from Pantone.
Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala it’s the name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone, is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors. Leatrice Eiseman.
2014: Radiant Orchid
The Pantone Colour of the Year 2014 was Radiant Orchid, a lilac shade of purple with a calming yet daring feel.
Leatrice Eiseman executive director of Pantone Colour Institute has said about the 2014 colour choice:
An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. She also went on to explain, While the 2013 colour of the year, Pantone 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the colour wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination.