Every year the colour experts Pantone (the self proclaimed global authority on all things colour) pick a colour of the year. This year we have ‘living coral’ connecting with nature and marine life. The chosen peachy orange shade, or Pantone 16-1546 is the colour of the year for 2019.
We are visual creatures. Our survival depends heavily on what we see and how we interept that information. Colour helps us identify danger, safety and much, much more.
When we think about the colours we like there are some deep psychological traits and characteristics of our cognitive function being connected, volumes are being turned up and down as our mood changes and we can change our mood with different colours.
Design and fashion have always challenged perception, colour palettes are constantly evolving over time and are reflective of current trends and movements. Paint, make-up, vehicles and countless other products have always had fanciful names for the colours available, it’s not Red PMS485 it’s Post Office Box Red. When you stop to think about it, it makes sense, these names or descriptions humanise the colour, connecting it to peoples values.
It is described by Pantone as an "animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energises and enlivens with a softer edge".
The colour is said to be vibrant yet mellow, light, warm and convivial. Evoking lazy summer holidays, the longing for far off places you’d want to visit with the nurturing reassurance of being connected to nature.
Everywhere. It’s been used across the board – online, on the high street, home furnishings, fashion, make up, branding, design and packaging. Pantone proclaim that it is set to inform colour choices in the art and design world this coming year – we’ll see to what extent that plays out as the months tick by.
At a time digital dominance to a point of personal overload that leaves many people feeling cold and isolated, things like colour can really make a difference to peoples emotional health. The return to nature, and the search for simplicity, authenticity and connection in our lives has never been more profound, we simply can’t continue at the rate that we have done in recent times, burn out is inevitable.
Buoyant, vibrant, and effervescent, Living Coral brings nature to mind, transporting us into the vibrant undersea ecosystems that we all depend upon.
Pantone acknowledges that their choice also highlights an environmental treasure under threat: “Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of colour.”
You can find out more about the threats to coral reefs and the delicate marine ecosystem here.