PANTONE'S Colour of The Year isn't just about what colour they like, nor what they think is best, rather it's a semi-political/social commentary on a colour that best embodies the spirit of the people moving into the coming of the year.
Last year, appropriately on hindsight, the colour was PANTONE'S '18-3838 TCX' otherwise known as 'Ultra-Violet'. The intense purple hue was chosen as a means of highlighting a powerful vision for the future, but instead of that, it has since come to aptly evoke the feelings of confusion and mania that the past 12 months have presented.
It had a mysterious quality, something that undeniably came to the fore throughout the year, albeit in the context of 'What the fuck is happening?' It seems like madness reached fever pitch. In short, we've had enough Ultra-Violet, give us something better. So, for the next year, the more gentle and subtle tone is kindly welcomed. It's fresh and, more importantly than making a statement, a colour that ushers in a period whereby nothing unexpected is going to blindside us (although, it inevitably will).
PANTONE'S Colour of The Year is an iconic bridge between marketing and social commentary that draws on recent trends to give brands a clear standpoint and opinion. A brand is no longer just a brand. Socially conscious brands were once virtually unheard of, then they become essential and now they are fully ubiquitous. If you aren't one, you're not doing enough. That's a great thing for PANTONE who have a wide scope for making bold statements. It is, like Santa Claus decked out in red and white for Coca-Cola, a product of a consumerist society where our attention is the highest prize.
'Living Coral' (16-1546) is evocative of organic and fresh structures. It's also "Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 ‘Living Coral’ welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity,” says the brand. Phew.
After the previous year, it's suffice to say that most people would entertain the idea of a year spent without the constant bombardment of politicians names, nonsensical societal issues, and thinly-veiled social media trends that barely mask the egotistical personalities that prop them up.
Coral is calm, conscious and appealing to a more environmentally aware sect of society. It is, just like reefs the world over, a look at something that has seen better days, but with a little nourishment can once again become something spectacular. Unfortunately, not everyone is convinced by the reality or likeliness of what this choice represents. Truly, only time will tell.
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