Why Pantone’s Color Of The Year Matters
Since the year 2000, the Pantone Color Institute has decided on a particular colour to represent the new year and the trends that are to follow. It also looks at where we are on a global scale in terms of human connections, how we keep ourselves busy and how we express ourselves. In December last year, at the Royal Palm South Beach Miami, Pantone made its annual announcement, declaring “Living Coral” as the 2019 Color of the Year. This warm, soft and yet vibrant colour – known in code as PANTONE 16-1546 – provides “comfort and buoyancy” especially taking into account our environment and its manner of continual change, according to Pantone’s statement. Anyone who has ever had the privilege of going deep-sea diving or snorkeling along a coral reef will know the feeling of absolute awe that follows such an experience.
You know, the one that leaves you vaguely wondering whether science will soon enable us to develop gills, just so that you can stay there forever.
In light of the current environmental situation, it is more important than ever for humans to take responsibility for our home and the wide variety of life that it has to nurture. Being a clear pointer to the ocean’s coral reefs and how they are shelter for a large variety of colourful marine creatures, Living Coral should not only be a reflection for what will stand out in human creativity and design in 2019, but should also serve as a reminder for us to stay mindful of our role in the natural world. Moreover, it should remind us of how much we draw from nature in terms of energy and inspiration, especially when it comes to our own creativity. And here’s hoping that it will amplify our need to reconnect with those around us and spend our time with people who enrich our lives.
Color is perspective
According to Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, the new color of the year functions well as the point of perspective through which we view our surroundings, both natural and digital. “With consumers craving human interaction and social connection,” she said, “the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial PANTONE Living Coral hit a responsive chord.”
In the last 50 years, rates of loneliness has increased dramatically – a strange phenomenon considering the fact that the world population is steadily climbing to amount to 10 billion people. Today’s social environment – enabled by the onslaught of digital technology and influence from social media – effectively disconnects us from each other and valuable interaction is rare. This is problematic, because humans were never meant to be lone creatures – we survived in tribes and family groups. Even today, the healthiest and best developed people – including those who live in Blue Zones – are those who enjoy strong social systems, live in multigenerational homes and spend a lot of their time in healthy social setups. On the other hand, solitude and isolation can increase affect mortality by increasing cortisol (the stress hormone) and inflammation, which then increases the risk for chronic diseases.
With PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral being the color of the 2019 means you will regularly be seeing coral, grapefruit and peachy tones in most industries, including home decor, fashion, industrial and graphic design, and featured by those specialising in entertainment, travel, art, lifestyle on a global scale. Therefore, the next time you see Living Coral featured in a design palette at a wedding or event, or something as everyday as a coffee mug, feel free to be inspired by its warmth, optimism, energy and friendliness. Then remember that, as humans, our future progress lies in us sticking together and staying connected.
That’s what it is for, after all.
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