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‘Vibrant, yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.’

PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages light-hearted activity and embodies our desire for playful expression. Representing the fusion of modern life, PANTONE Living Coral is a nurturing colour that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media. The 2019 winner was chosen for its “animating and life-affirming” hue which “energizes and enlivens with a softer edge,” according to the Pantone team. It seems no coincidence that this year’s colour evokes the beauty and fragility of our marine life and oceans. It’s a subtle reminder that coral, which is bright and lively, is only possible if it’s surrounded by a healthy environment.

How Does Pantone Choose its Colour of the Year?

So how does one company choose a single colour over millions of other colours for the up and coming year? Pantone has crowned a ‘Colour of the Year’ since 2000 and claims the colours they choose, in essence, choose themselves.

What started off as an “afterthought” that was discussed between a few individuals in the fourth quarter of the year has transformed into a 20-person team –The Pantone Colour InstituteThis is the business unit within Pantone that highlights top seasonal runway colours, forecasts global colour trends, advises companies on colour for product and brand visual identity. The global research starts early in the spring looking for recurring patterns or colours in daily life situations, the process takes nearly nine months. Experts look at trends in all areas of daily life, such as the entertainment industry, emerging artists, fashion, technology and more, to decide on the winning colour for the upcoming year.

To arrive at the selection each year, Pantone’s colour experts at the Pantone Colour Institute comb the world looking for new colour 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 and textures that impact colour, relevant social media platforms and even up-coming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.

Pantone states that the Colour of the Year is actually “…a colour snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.”

What does this mean for the retail market?

For 20 years, Pantone’s Colour of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product, packaging and graphic design. The chosen colour is utilised by global brands, designers and other consumer-focused companies in their latest batch of products.

Living Coral feels like that warm, glowing vibrant hue that we’re all looking for in summer hazy days, holiday clothing has utilised the colour. You will see “Living Coral” in your clothing, tech gadgets, home décor, makeup and much more throughout 2019.

Brands will often use contrasting colours on the colour wheel to enhance their products, not just using the actual colour, an example of a company using the colour of the year as a contrast to promote their brand Painthouse is a recent customer of ours…

As you will see, pastel shades of the chosen hue and opposite contrasting pastel shades will be considered, we will probably see many of these examples filtering through within artwork or the actual substrate being used for the display during 2019!

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