Every year around this time, Pantone Color Institute — which considers itself the “global authority on color” — unveils the new “Color of the Year.” That color for 2018 was Ultra Violet, a deep, plush purple color that would have made Prince proud. For 2019 the Color of the Year is Living Coral, which, as Pantone’s VP Laurie Pressman says, should not only be welcomed from a design standpoint but has some serious psychological benefits accompanying it as well.
“Just as coral reefs are a source of sustenance and shelter, we see this color giving us assurance and buoyancy in an environment that’s been continuously shifting for 10 years,” says Pressman. “With technology, and all the unrest around the world, our global culture has continued to accelerate this shift.”
She calls the color “life affirming,” “nuturing,” “nourishing” and says it embodies humans’ “innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits.”
How is a Color of the Year decided on? Well, here’s what Pantone says about the process:
The Color of the Year selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis. To arrive at the selection each year, Pantone’s color experts at the Pantone Color Institute comb the world looking for new color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, playstyles, and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures, and effects that impact color, relevant social media platforms and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.
And while it wasn’t coordinated intentionally, as it turns out, when Apple recently released its latest slate of new iPhones, included in the batch was none other than a Living Coral iPhone XR. Also ahead of its time was Airbnb, which Pressman tells Fast Company included Living Coral in a 2014 brand redesign.