As spring arrives, you might start noticing more pops of pinky-orange color, and there’s a reason why. Similar to Time Magazine’s Person of the Year and Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year, Pantone offers a Color of the Year.
“Living Coral” is the 2019 Color of the Year, decided by the Pantone Color Institute, a global network of color and design experts. Every year, color institute experts comb the globe for inspiration, examining industries like entertainment, sports, travel, fashion, art, politics, and more to understand underlying themes of humanity and how they might be expressed through color.
“Sociable and spirited, ‘Living Coral’ welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity,” says Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone Color Institute executive director. “Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, ‘Living Coral’ embodies our desire for playful expression.” The coral shade was also chosen to bring awareness to the crisis in our oceans: the dying and bleaching of coral reefs across the planet. Coral is naturally white, made pink by algae organisms living within its tissue. Coral bleaching results from the elimination of the algae, leaving the coral’s white tissue exposed and unhealthy.
Color selection is a closely guarded secret. Twice a year, representatives from countries around the world gather for two-day conferences at a confidential location. After a total of 96 hours of presentations, debate, and research, a color is selected for the next year. Color of the Year announcements are made every December.
In 2018, “Ultra Violet,” a rich shade of purple, was chosen to represent the blend of red and blue in the American political arena. “Greenery” was selected for 2017 — a bright green shade representative of spring’s first blooms.
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