Color trends are known to generate consumer activity – impacting many industries and their global design directions. While some organizations try to remain unique and shy away from the color trends of any given year, the end consumer often craves the latest trend in everything from paint colors to clothing and even growing containers.
Linda DeFranco, the Director of Fashion Marketing at Cotton Incorporated, states that “A fad is a flash-in-the-pan. A trend is something with a little more practicality and purpose.”
Color trends often change the psychology of how a consumer perceives a color to experience something fresh and unique, which often provides inspiration during the mundane routines of our current existence.
In fact, studies have shown that 85% of shoppers often base their purchasing decisions on a product’s overall color scheme as a form of self-expression.
Pantone has been a leading authority for identifying, matching, and communicating color trends since it was founded in 1963 by Lawrence Herbert. Realizing that everyone views colors differently, Pantone’s color matching system helped to standardize colors, which in turn helped consumers and businesses with coordination.
At the end of each calendar year, Pantone chooses its Color of the Year, which often motivates the use of new colors in both ordinary and surprising ways.
For 2022, the Color of the Year was called Very Peri. The Pantone Color Institute’s Executive Director, Leatrice Eiseman, said, “It was really important for us to come up with a new color because we have a very new vision of the world now. It is literally the happiest and the warmest of all the blue hues. Because of that red undertone, it introduces an empowering feeling of newness, and newness is what we’re looking for.”
For 2023, Pantone’s Color of the Year is called Viva Magenta (18-1750) – a vibrant red hue that promotes strength, fearlessness, and optimism as 2023 chronicles a new narrative for the world.
Eiseman says, “In this age of technology, we look to draw inspiration from nature and what is real. PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta descends from the red family and is inspired by the red of cochineal, one of the most precious dyes belonging to the natural dye family as well as one of the strongest and brightest the world has known. Rooted in the primordial, PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta reconnects us to the original matter. Invoking the forces of nature, PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta galvanizes our spirit, helping us to build our inner strength.”
Some color skeptics are quick to point out that magenta is not really a color, as there’s no wavelength of light that corresponds perfectly. But Pantone says the color is a “nuanced crimson red tone that presents a balance between warm and cool.”
Pantone has already secured partnerships with notable organizations, including Motorola, Spoonflower, and Cariuma, to create cellphones, wallpaper, and skate shoes in this year’s crimson-toned Color of the Year.
While color trends are often symbolic, reflecting the current cultural climate in society, they may not always apply to every brand or product, such as tennis shoes, kitchen gadgets, and SUVs. Still, complimentary colors in the pallet often enable many organizations to respect color trends while ensuring colors are appropriate for their industry.
Laurie Pressman, the Pantone Institute’s Vice President, says, “It (color) is a visual language we all understand, one whose message crosses genders, generations, and geographies. Learning more about the unique meanings particular colors give voice to helps us to be a more expressive, closely connected society, one that provides people with a more holistic understanding of their peers and communities alike.”
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