A sharp shift from the deeply creative, mystical, night sky-inspired hue of 2018’s Pantone Colour of the Year, this year’s pick – Living Coral – has been dubbed “an animating and life-affirming hue that energises and enlivens with a softer edge.”
Providing a visual and timely reminder to get back to what matters and put less investment into the digital technology and social media that have wormed their way firmly into our daily lives, the colour standards company’s colour of the year, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral, is briefed with encouraging us to “seek authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy.”
Think that’s a big call for a colour to achieve? In a press release, Pantone says – drawing from nature – PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral emits the desired, familiar and energising aspects of colour found in nature, with its peachy shade of orange and golden undertones.
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Introducing the Pantone Color of the Year 2019, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral – an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression. #COY2019
“In its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, this vivifying and effervescent colour mesmerises the eye and mind. Lying at the centre of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of colour,” says Pantone spokesperson, Leatrice Eiseman.
The release goes on to spruik the merits of the lively hue, calling it vibrant, yet mellow, embracing us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.
“Representing the fusion of modern life, Living Coral is a nurturing colour that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media,” Eiseman says.
It’s also charged with being sociable and spirited, engaging, welcoming and encouraging light-hearted activity – not to mention symbolising our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, embodying our desire for playful expression.
A quick flick through various web design and colour psychology pages from around the web lends consensus to the claims that the colour coral evokes feelings of softness, playfulness, nurturing, and good health.
Image source: Pantone
How was the Pantone Colour of 2019 chosen?
Far from a random selection, the colour boffins at the Pantone Color Institute have spent the last 20 years seeking out their annual colour du jour through a selection process involving trend analysis and consideration to a wide range of fields and factors.
These influences include the entertainment industry and films in production, travelling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, to new lifestyles, playstyles, and socio-economic conditions. They’ll often also look to new technologies, materials, textures, and effects that impact colour for inspo, and the relevant social media platforms and upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.
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The Pantone Color Institute Color of the Year has developed into a powerful force over its 20 years – partnering with global brands to leverage the power, psychology, and emotion of colour in design strategies. The annual ‘chosen one’ influences product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries – from fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, to product, packaging, and graphics.
In short, expect to see plenty of coral in gift shops, upcoming clothing collections, makeup boxes, magazine and web pages – not to mention paint and furniture fabric swatches!
Words by Melanie Hearse