Pantone colour of the year – Ultra violet
Published: February 2018
Colour gurus Pantone have announced their Pantone colour of the year – Ultra Violet. They describe it as “A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade…Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking”. Quite an ambitious statement to make about a colour swatch.
This choice from the Pantone Colour Institute has divided opinion, but is supposed to represent far more than just what looks pretty. Pantone believe that Ultra Violet symbolises “experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.”
It isn’t the first time a purple has been honoured as colour of the year. Radiant Orchid, a softer purple with pink undertones, was 2014’s choice. And in 2017, Pantone honoured Prince with his own, bespoke purple, Love Symbol #2, developed alongside Prince’s estate. Purple also happens to be Pantone Colour Institute’s executive director’s favourite colour. Here at Urban River, Web design Newcastle our signature colour is also purple.
Pantone has been crowning colours as ‘Colour of the Year’ since the millennium. There is a 20 person team behind the choice. They begin their global research and trend forecasting in the spring, ready to reveal the next year’s colour in December. They take note of trends in fashion, interiors, street art, sports, tech and current affairs. They’ve managed to narrow the process down to nine months in total.
The end result isn’t about telling people what the colour of the year should be, but by showing us what the colour of the year is. We probably already know it without realising. Pantone Colour Institute’s executive director, Leatrice Eiseman says: “There is a magical element that colour represents to people, whether or not they realise it. Because we’re colourists, we see the clues. Then we get the conversation going, and start to open people’s consciousness to the colour.”
So how can your brand embrace Ultra Violet? Well, it doesn’t mean you should make any drastic, purple changes! After years of muted tones and monochromes taking the stage in tech and web design. Ultra Violet is a sign that brighter, more shocking colours are on the design horizon.
You can take the Pantone Colour of the Year on board by embracing flashes of colour in your branding or your web design. You’ll be able to add these drops of colour without losing sophistication or professionalism. I think we can all agree that there’s only so long you can look at monochrome design before getting bored. So this might be a step in a direction we’ve all been waiting for.
Ultra Violet shows elements of fearlessness, creativity and bravery. So how can you and your organisation learn from the attributes Ultra Violet represents?
Pantone’s Colour of the Year is a celebration of culture and trends, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be taken literally. Put more focus into what Pantone is telling you about the world around you and how we all respond differently to different colours as time goes on. Therefore start thinking about how your brand can tap into that.