Each year, we learn the Pantone Color of the Year, a selection that attempts to forecast design trends for the next 12 months.
Specifically, it’s PANTONE 19-4052, the code that specifies the deep blue shade. Time says it’s “at once comforting and relatable.”
It’s the perfect color for a world that is, as Pantone says, “completely overloaded and perpetually stressed.”
I’ve tracked the Pantone Color of the Year for a few years now.
For 2019, Pantone chose Living Coral, a color that “embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy.”
In 2018, the color of the year was Ultra-Violet, a hue the institute described as “dramatically provocative and thoughtful.”
Pantone chose Greenery in 2017, which it said was symbolic of “new beginnings.”
I didn’t write about 2016’s color, which is just as well because it wasn’t one color. They actually chose two: Rose Quartz and Serenity. You can see them here.
Marsala, a dark red Pantone called a “subtly seductive shade,” was 2015’s pick.
You can see past choices — from 2007 through 2020 — at Pantone’s website. Of them all, I’d pick probably pick 2007’s Chili Pepper as my absolute favorite. But I do like 2020’s choice a lot, too. Royal Blue, which is close to “Classic Blue,” is one of my favorite colors.
But what does naming a color of the year accomplish?
In a nutshell…nothing.
The New York Times refers to the color of the year as “a trend-forecasting stunt as closely watched by the news media as it is by the industries — marketing, fashion, design — that actually traffic in visual trends.”
Presumably, Pantone is trying to guess which color will be the color. Presumably, the designers who actually create or follow trends, will agree and prove Pantone correct.
Do you find their Classic Blue relaxing and comforting?