color January 10, 2020

Why has Pantone become the most used color system worldwide?

With a new year comes a lot of resolutions and exciting trends including a new Pantone color.
By now, you’ve probably seen this year’s color more or less everywhere. It’s called Classic Blue, or 19-4052.
Color is undeniably one of the most important elements a designer has to consider, but where does the need for a yearly color comes from? And when did this color selection become a thing?

Pantone’s Color System: context

Pantone is the most recognizable color system worldwide. 
It started in 1963 with the invention and later acceptance of a universal color language that allows effective color communication.
By introducing the Pantone Matching System, they created a tool that matches a certain color to a number. This combination is presented in a chip format that, conveniently, can be detached and sent as an accurate reference for reproducing the color. 
More than 50 years later, Pantone is still the most used color system, making the swatches an essential tool in areas such as design, fashion, architecture, and decor.
It’s available physically and digitally with examples such as the Pantone Studio app.

Pantone year color choice

Twenty years ago, Pantone started choosing a color to symbolize each year. By doing so, they created a buzz around their brand while also helping to shape the public’s perception regarding the use of color and the role it plays in everyday life.
Since then, color experts look at trends, events, culture, and technology to decide which color would better represent next year’s mood.
Consequently, as soon as the choice is done, there’s a huge rush towards using that color in everything. Design, fashion, decor … you name it. As with everything, there are good and bad outcomes as a result.
If on the one hand, we learn to appreciate the color and the meaning behind it, on the other, we get sick of it. We see it everywhere and, as a consequence, everything looks the same after a while, especially at the beginning of the year.

Pantone colors: ten years in review

Considering that this is the end of a decade or the start of a new one, let’s look back on the colors that marked these past ten years.

In this image, we can see ten swatches with Pantone’s colors from the last decade.

Turquoise 15-5519

Turquoise was the hip color ten years ago. 
Most people respond positively to it since it is a reminder of the ocean, and tropical beaches. Overall, it inspires comfort to escape everyday chaos.

Honeysuckle 18-2120

Honeysuckle (curious name) embodies the opposite feeling of the previous year. It inspires audacity, courage, and boldness to face challenges with head up high.

Tangerine Tango 17-1463

In 2012, Tangerine Tango came along and with it lots of adrenaline and warmth. It was highly accepted in cosmetics and fashion due to being a magnetic color with a sense of freshness.

Emerald 17-5641

“A lively, radiant and lush color that enhances the sense of well-being, balance, and harmony.” This is how Pantone describes it.

Radiant Orchid 18-3224

A feminine shade that mix purple, fuchsia, and pink. 
This color sparks the imagination, creativity, and originality.
As the orchid, it emanates charm and joy.

Marsala 18-1438

Somewhere between brown and a deep red, there’s Marsala.
It looks sophisticated, natural, and luxurious.

Rose Quartz and Serenity 13-1520/15-3919

2016 was the only year in which Pantone selected two colors of the year.
Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrated a balance between wellness and peace.

Greenery 15-0343

It’s a yellow-greenish color that suggests grass, foliage, and nature. 
It represents vitality and new beginnings.

Ultra Violet 18-3838

It’s a reminder of the vast universe and all its mysteries.
A complex and meditative color, ultraviolet made people look inward for inspiration and for pursuing brighter things.

Living Coral 16-1546

Last year, this was the color that made a huge statement. It was a reminder to modern times and everything that has been going on with pollution, environmental problems, and man-made disasters.
At the same it, living coral represents the need for authenticity and optimism to carry on with our life.  

Classic Blue 19-4052

Lastly, this year’s color, Classic Blue is a representation of endurance, simplicity, and calm. 
Personally, I see it as a very stable, solid, and yet, confident color.

About Melted

Melted was born in 2017. 
Back then, I was facing some hard time regarding my profession (or lack of), but I wanted to push forward and inspire others to do the same.
So I put my fears aside, and several huge cups of coffee later, this project was online.

Read the full story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *