And the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year Is…

This time of year there’s an extra buzz in the air around here. No, it’s not the holidays (although, yes, we are all about the holidays). It’s the annual Color of the Year announcement from Pantone

Two years ago they broke the mold and chose two colors for 2016 – Rose Quartz and Serenity – following it up with Greenery for 2017.

So what’s the big color for 2018?

According to Diana Budds writing in Co. Design, “It’s the color Prince crooned about, the color of royals, the color of clairvoyants – and the color Pantone has anointed as the embodiment of the coming year. The official color of 2018 is a saturated, intense, blue-toned shade of purple called Ultra Violet, also known as Pantone 18-3838.”

It seems fitting. As Budds notes, the color could be “terrifying or exciting,” depending on how you see it. Who hasn’t stared up into the violet night sky and been struck by both emotions?

“Purple is a complex color,” agrees Lee Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, to Co.Design. “We’re in a complex time; this is a complex color.”

According to Pantone Color Institute VP Laurie Pressman, 2017 was about mindful meditation (hence Greenery). And now?

“Now it’s, ‘What are we going to do with these thoughts to move ourselves forward?’ We’ve had time to reflect. It’s time to go,” Pressman continued.

According to the official release from Pantone, “Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”

I’m on board with that.

We are living in a time of upheaval and change in every facet of our lives – politics, technology, business, publishing, and design. How we handle that change depends in large part on our attitude. Looking forward with intrigue and inspiration sounds right.

Pantone itself has become part of the zeitgeist, inspiring artistic interpretations, influencing fashion, and becoming a true pop culture icon. So for 2018, watch for Ultra Violet to start popping up. Keep an eye open to how it’s being used, and see if it is influencing your own design and color preferences.  It’s beginning to look pretty cosmic around here.