The Color of the Year

PG lives a sheltered life, so removed from modern culture and civilization that only this morning, he learned that the color of 2019 is Living Coral.

From Time:

Pantone has announced that Living Coral is the 2019 color of the year. The color authority has bestowed the honorable title on a special hue every December for the past 20 years, taking into account fashion, decorating, design and cultural trends, as well as “how colors can embody our collective experience and reflect what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time,” according to press release from Pantone.

This year’s color, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral, is an animating shade of orange with a golden undertone, which reflects the warmth, nourishment, and shelter of coral reefs to sea life. Pantone notes that this year’s selection symbolizes an “innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits” and “authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy” — the latter carrying extra poignancy in a cultural landscape that is increasingly dominated by digital technology and social media.

. . . .

“Color is a language and color is inextricably linked to the culture,” Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, tells TIME of this year’s selection of the color coral. “We see the environment taking on an even greater role in the world we live in today for two primary reasons, one being how connected we are to technology. Because we are so connected to something that’s not real, so to speak, we really need to find that balance closely and intimately with something that is real and you don’t get more real than nature.”

Pressman says the second aspect is “our understanding of our natural resources…we look at the concerns of what’s taking place in nature, the depletion of natural resources. One of the things that we get from nature is energy. When we think about the shifting nature of our world, here’s a color that’s animating and life-affirming.”

Link to the rest at Time

Who knew a single color could be so powerful?

Everybody knows that dozens of colors can change the course of history, but will only one color distinguish 2019 from all the years that came before?

PG learned that pasting PANTONE 16-1546 into a Google search box will bring up lots of examples of Living Coral, including the definitive standard from Pantone.



Of course, a color cretin like PG is probably not seeing the true beauty of 16-1546 TPX because he is viewing it through a computer monitor that has not been properly calibrated to show really, really true colors (although it looks about the same on his phone).

With that caveat, PG is not certain how he will involve Living Coral in his life during 2019 (he almost typed 1919).

A quick glance into PG’s closet would confirm that the widest collection of colors is found where his ties congregate, but he can’t visualize Living Coral around his neck with a suit.

PG’s socks run the color gamut from navy blue to black with some white ones for the gym. Maybe there is room for 16-1546 TPX near the bottom of the personal  palette that is PG clothed in all his colorful glory.

16-1546 TPX socks might create a Living Coral-assisted mating-season sort of look, which might not work because PG is firmly mated to Mrs. PG and happy to have that connection continue into the distant future.

But he so wants to be “animating and life-affirming.”

It is clear that PG will have to devote much more time to the contemplation and management of color than he has during the decades leading up to 2019 if he wants to establish a fashion forward image “inextricably linked to the culture” when “inextricably” is practically PG’s middle name.

Expect to see much more about Living Coral in upcoming posts on TPV.

21 thoughts on “The Color of the Year”

  1. Being hopelessly colorblind and design challenged, when the Pantone announcement comes out, I immediately change the trim on my site to the Pantone choice. Looks great to me every year. Whenever my wife or daughter comment on my atrocious color schemes, I shrug and say it’s the color of the year. I get an eye roll, but no more comments.

    • Hmm, maybe if you reverse the color …

      White becomes black, red becomes green, yellow becomes purple …

      Or if dealing with light, red-cyan, green-magenta, blue-yellow.

      (For great fun play with the ‘hue’ settings if you have one on your TV/computer – just remember where they were so you can get back to them!)


  2. A certain color or colors, each year, is certainly a very important thing in the furniture and home accessories industry. During the semi-annual shows at the International Furniture Market, there’s always an article or two about the color trends in design and home furnishings. Every time I try to find teal accessories for one of my bathrooms, I curse those trends because teal went the way of the dodo right after that bathroom was painted a particular shade of pale green.

  3. Yet another shade this redhead can’t wear.:P

    I’ll stick with blues, dark greens, and teal. Anything red or orange is a bit fraught. (That, and memories of a 1970s orange shag carpet and the orange Berber carpet in the next room. The horror…)

    • 1970s orange shag carpet

      See, this is why the 1970s seems like a giant prank to me. Avocado green? Harvest Gold? Bell bottoms? Chunky stilettos, or the pimp shoes with the goldfish in them? Someone had to have been running a massive experiment to see if there was a floor on the bad tastes of the general public.

      On the other hand, I do wish appliance manufacturers would offer stoves and refrigerators in Caribbean Blue or Lipstick Red again. I watch those Doris Day / Grace Kelly / Audrey Hepburn movies only partly for the story, the rest is about their clothes, their decor, and the architectural details of their houses. The 50s and 60s looked pretty.

    • That is a nice color. From the post about that color: Harrison lists the names of several “hues devised to please fantastical heads,” including “gooseturd green, pease-porridge tawny, popinjay blue, lusty-gallant, [and] the-devil-in-the-head.” I’m convinced the first two were sarcasm. Unless “turd” meant something different to Elizabethans.

      But since they mentioned colors inspired by artists, I’m surprised they left off “titian.” I know of Titian because Nancy Drew was always described as an “attractive, Titian-haired eighteen-year-old” girl. I had seen Clash of the Titans — the Harryhousen version; I recognize no other — and kept misreading “Titian” as “titan.” But that’s how I learned it’s on the vermilion (orange) end of the red spectrum.

  4. This is the color that my first wife painted our condo in. It was a happy day when I was finally able to paint over it with a nice neutral tan.

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