For all us color addicts out there, the announcement of the Pantone Color of the Year is an event we all wait for. A representation of the current world we live in, the color is carefully selected by a panel of experts who comb the globe looking for influences and studying trend analysis. For over 20 years, Pantone’s Color 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 color 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 color in the year previously. Take a look at the current Pantone Color of the Year and the shades that came before it...
2021: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating
In 2021 we’re looking forward to a new day. Announcing two colors, only the second time they have done so in the Color of the Year’s two-decade history, as 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and 13-0647 Illuminating as the Pantone® Color of the Year selection for 2021, these two independent colors come together to create an aspirational pairing, conjoining deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the optimistic promise of a sunshine filled day.
The perfect combination to set the mood in any room of the home, Ultimate Gray and Illuminating will add a dose of sunshine and positivity where we want it most. By juxtaposing these two shades, the combination is ideal for any space in the home; the dependable gray provides a firm foundation and supports the warm and welcoming vibrant yellow.
“The selection of two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting, conveying the idea that it’s not about one color or one person, it’s about more than one. The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.
“Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.
Build a Solid Foundation With Ultimate Gray
2020: Classic Blue
The Pantone Color of the Year 2020 has been announced as Pantone 19-4502 Classic Blue which symbolizes 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 color 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 colors 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 Color 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 color symbolizes our need for optimism and joyful pursuits and embodies our need for playful expression.
It’s a color that appears both in our natural surroundings yet also has a lively presence on social media. Emitting the familiar and energizing aspects of the color found in nature, the glorious but sadly more elusive displays of it in the natural world are mesmerizing and effervescent to the eye and the mind. At the center of the naturally vivid underwater ecosystem, the color is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter for a diverse kaleidoscope of color under the waves.
Color is an equalizing 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 humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial Pantone Living Coral hit a responsive chord. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director or the Pantone Colour 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 Color of the Year for 2016 was unveiled as not one, but two colors for the first time in its history. Serenity and Rose Quartz are softer take on the usually bolder colors and the shades of blue and pink were chosen to evoke a mindset of tranquility and peace according to the color 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 Color Institute
With many questioning why Pantone deciding to break the mold and choose two shades this year, Pantone explained their reasoning;
The color, or in this case, colors we select to be our Pantone Color of the Year are symbolic; they are a color 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 color experts at Pantone announced that the deep and rich warm burgundy shade of Marsala was be their Color of the Year for 2015. At the opposite end of the color 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 Color of the Year 2014 was Radiant Orchid, a lilac shade of purple with a calming yet daring feel.
Leatrice Eiseman executive director of Pantone Color Institute has said about the 2014 color 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 color of the year, Pantone 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination.