For designers, there’s more than just snow and the Christmas holidays to look forward to in December! Designers and colour enthusiasts alike know that every December, Pantone announces their “Colour of the Year”. The colour is picked to inspire art and design in all forms for the upcoming year.
Pantone is a company that develops colour systems for a variety of industries. A team of about 20 people at Pantone spend the bulk of every year analysing cultural influences, socioeconomic conditions, and aesthetic trends – from new movies and technology to hot travel spots. All of this to crown a new shade the next Colour of the Year.
After last year’s Living Coral as the 2019 Colour of the Year – a shade based on the natural pigmentation of living ocean coral – Pantone has chosen colour with a completely different meaning for 2020: let us introduce you to Classic Blue 19-4052.
Classic Blue 19-4052 is officially the Colour of the Year 2020. “Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era,” says Pantone.
Blue is arguably one of the most democratic of colours. It means all things to all people, with a lot of associations depending on the tone in question, hence its universal appeal.
Consider the psychological meaning of navy blue, which is solid, upright and representative of quality, possibly why expensive designer goods are often packaged in such tones. This is in contrast to meanings of lighter blues, which tend to evoke comparisons with the sky, implying serenity.
In between, we have a whole spectrum of brighter and more upbeat mid-tones, which may recall the colours of an idyllic Mediterranean Sea, with watery connotations – think cleanliness, liberation and freedom.
Pantone’s Classic Blue has been pitched somewhere in the middle of these mid sea blues and the falling ink of a dusky sky. Perhaps a move away from the conformity of the darker shades, but just short of the simplicity of a child’s paint-box blue.
Pantone has explained, it sought an “easily relatable” shade, and one that reflects the desire for a “stable foundation” at the dawn of a new decade. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone colour Institute, said, “Imbued with a deep resonance, Classic Blue provides an anchoring foundation. A boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky, Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious and expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication.”
The cobalt blue hue is also said to be linked with communication, self-analysis and clarity. Other elements of the hue include enhancing concentration and helping to re-align thoughts, particularly in light of technology’s accelerating developments.
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