Citing consumers’ desire for real human connections amid an increasingly negative social media landscape, the trend forecasters and color experts at Pantone have selected Living Coral, a “life-affirming” and “nurturing” shade, as 2019’s color of the year. The announcement was made recently at Art Basel Miami Beach.
“With everything that’s going on today, we’re looking for those humanizing qualities because we’re seeing online life dehumanizing a lot of things,” Laurie Pressman, the Pantone Color Institute’s vice president, told The Associated Press. “We’re looking toward those colors that bring nourishment and the comfort and familiarity that make us feel good.”
Since 2000, Pantone has been analyzing cultural trends in order to predict what color will be ubiquitous in the art, fashion and design worlds in the coming year. But more recently, the company has hinted that it’s hoping to influence society, too. “The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today,” Pressman explained last year.
Last December, the company selected Ultra Violet, a “dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade” inspired by Prince and reminiscent of grape soda, as its color of the year for 2018.
A company executive noted at the time that the color combined blue and red, “two shades that are seemingly diametrically opposed.” For some, the announcement read as a coded call for bipartisanship.
Previous announcements have been less subtle: In 2017, the color of the year was Greenery, a bright spring green that Pantone suggested would “provide us with the hope we collectively yearn for amid a complex social and political landscape.”
And the year before that, it chose two colors — a baby blue and a pale pink — citing “societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity.”
Living Coral was chosen because it conveys a sense of optimism. “In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy,” the company explained in a news release, suggesting that the orange-pink hue would offer “comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.”
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