And the winner is… Ultra Violet

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Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2018

It’s been quite a couple of weeks here in Ireland. After our stunning St. Patrick’s Day Six Nations grand slam, green is certainly the colour of the month. Surely even the Pantone Colour Institute wouldn’t disagree with that. Indeed green or “Greenery” was their Colour of the Year in 2017. This year however, Pantone Colour of the Year is Ultra Violet, or to be more precise, Pantone 18-3838.

What is Pantone Colour of the Year all about?

Since 2000 the Pantone Colour Institute has chosen a colour of the year. They take this decision very seriously. Twice a year representatives from various nations meet secretly and debate the issue for two days before deciding on the following year’s winner. According to Leitrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute, the panel looks for “ascending color trends, colors that are being used in broader ways and broader context than before”.

So why Ultra Violet?

Pantone calls Ultra Violet “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade” that “communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.”

They also make reference to enduring musical icons like Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and Prince who they say brought the colour to the forefront of western pop culture by using it as an expression of individuality. 

Getting back to present day, Eiseman says that we are living a time of inventiveness and imagination. Pantone Ultra Violet, she says, “takes our awareness and potential to a higher level” and “lights the way to what is yet to come”.  Profound indeed. But what does it mean to you as a designer or print professional?

A purple patch in changing times

Pantone describe Ultra Violet 18 -3838 as a blue-based purple and the colour purple has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years. Once considered a polarising colour that was too unusual for mainstream design it is now associated with courage, royalty, the cosmos and spirituality. With spirituality and space exploration both prominent not just in many modern design styles but in popular culture, purple looks like it’s here to stay – for the foreseeable future anyway.

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