Pantone is going under the sea to name its pick for 2019 Color of the Year: Living Coral!
Each December, the international color forecasting authority selects a new hue it feels will define the 12 months ahead. On Thursday, they announced the pink-orange nature-inspired hue will be the next big thing next year, calling it “an animating and life-affirming shade of orange with a golden undertone.”
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Not only is the color swatched from the natural world, it shares a symbolism with the bit of nature that inspired it: “Just as coral reefs are a source of sustenance and shelter to sea life, vibrant yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment,” a release from the company states.
Similarly to the last few years’ picks, the color is also a meant to be a happy counterpoint to the less pleasant parts of modern life, Pantone says. Its selection is a “reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media,” instead symbolizing our “need for optimism and joyful pursuits” and “authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy.”
Pantone predicts the color will pop up next year in fashion and beauty products, home design trends, new technology and beyond
While each year, Pantone’s pick seems to divide public opinion, it’s worth noting that since the hue selected is a forecast for the future, we may have to wait and see how we feel about Living Coral this time next year.
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With that in mind, here’s a look back at the controversial picks of years past.
In 2018, Pantone selected Ultra Violet as the color of the year, with Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, calling the bold purple hue “a reflection of what’s needed in our world today” noting it “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking.”
For 2017, their pick was Greenery, a “fresh and zesty” color. Eiseman said the color, which was announced shortly after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, would provide “the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment,” adding, “Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.”
The color authority shocked the design community in 2016 by opting to choose not one, but two colors. “Rose Quartz,” a soft pink, and “Serenity,” a pale blue, were a little too reminiscent of baby nurseries for many, drawing some backlash.
Plenty of paint companies have jumped on the color forecasting bandwagon, naming their own colors of the year.
Already for 2019, Benjamin Moore has named Metropolitan, a sophisticated gray, the defining shade of the year to come. The selection is meant to emphasize the “calming role gray plays in society,” a company spokesperson told PEOPLE in a statement. Sherwin Williams, meanwhile, went the opposite direction, dubbing Cavern Clay, an orange-y hue that heralds the ‘renaissance of the 1970s’ their pick.
PPG chose a color back in June that may look familiar to fans of the HGTV’s Fixer Upper. Night Watch, a rich teal, calls to mind Joanna Gaines‘s go-to paint of late, Magnolia’s Weekend Blue, which the designer used in her sister’s home makeover on the show. “It is the calming blue of retreat and relaxation. To me, it just feels like home,” she wrote of the color in January.
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While Pantone is widely accepted as the ultimate authority on the subject, the variety of hues throwing their swatch in the ring supports a more popular color selection theory: every color is the color of the year every year. So, pick the one you like best and get painting!