You can set your clocks by it. Every year since 2000, the design/fashion/rest of the world holds their breathe as Pantone announces the colour swatch that will usher in and *ahem* set the tone for the new year. This year, of course, we all held our breath for the colour that would land the coveted title of “Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2019.”
Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2019
In case you missed it, the colour choice for us mortals in 2019 is PANTONE 16-1546 or Living Coral. This is a “vibrant, yet mellow” colour meant to “embrace[s] us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting global environment.” (That’s one way to put it . . . #Brexit et al.)
According to Pantone, Living Coral is also “Sociable and spirited, . . . and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression. Representing the fusion of modern life, . . . Living Coral is a nurturing colour that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.”
Pantone’s choice of swatch doesn’t just set the coming hue for millennial trinkets, makeup up cases, and notebook covers though (although, it does that too!). The Pantone pick for the year actually has effects all across the worlds of branding and marketing, as well as consumer trends. In short, its an announcement you don’t want to miss if you’re remotely related to any of these industries. The advertising industry is, of course, is a given. What better way to stay relevant and connect with your audience than through using Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2019 in your ads?
Incorporating Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2019
Of course, it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon and want to incorporate the ‘hot’ colour of any given year into your brand. While most times you can (and even should!), as Tracy Leigh Hazzard points out in her piece for Inc., it’s important to first consider:
– is this change/addition consumer oriented?
– are the design and the marketing elements of this cohesive and really good?
– is this being done with a real purpose?
If you can answer ‘yes!’ to these questions, then DO IT! Here are some tips from Pantone themselves.
If you’re a fairly new company or brand and are just starting to, or on the cusp of, sorting out your brand colours, you’ve got it easy! You can toss in a splash of Living Coral if you feel like its fitting to your brand and messaging easy-peasy. Much easier than, say, an established brand with a recognizable colour palette. What are those brands to do!?
Well, even if your brand, logo and approved colour palette has been solidified for years (or even decades!) there’s still a way that you can incorporate everyone’s new favourite colour and make your brand seem more ‘with it’ and relevant.
1. Use Living Coral as a focal point supported by a neutral or muted colour scheme
If you’re living that earth-tone life, then you’ve got it super easy! You can get a pop of coral, or any other colour you might fancy, with no sweat of clash or uncomplimentary colours. On the other hand, if you’ve got a palette that has some green, blue, yellow, or purple in it then adding a touch of Living Coral is a cinch. Not surprisingly, coral can look right at home with a myriad of colours as it is a colour that occurs often outdoors and so goes in stride with nearly any other colour it is placed with.
2. Accent your website with coral
If you’ve got buttons, slider markers, accent lines, or inverting elements on your site—make them coral! Any little details that aren’t mandated to be an exact certain way, could be your brand’s little foray into the world of yearly Pantone fun. If your designer needs a bit of inspiration, point them here!
3. Amp up the coral on your business cards
If you’ve got a little bit of leeway in your business card designs and layout, you can add a touch of coral there as well. You don’t have to give it a front row seat, but put your phone number or email in coral, or maybe a little accent detail around your name. For the super subtle (super thick) cards, you could even have the edges of your business card outlined in coral.
4. Add Living Coral to your already popping palette
Some brands live and breathe colour—especially bright ones. If this is the case for your brand, but coral somehow didn’t make the cut the first time around, you can bring pops of coral that will blend right into your already technicolour palette.
5. Coralize & Socialize
If all else fails, or you’re not comfortable changing up your brand asses there is always your social channels. As social channels are meant to reflect your brand in the world and events that are happening in real-time, this is most likely the best/easiest/most risk-free way to incorporate Living Colour into your brand. Plus, who doesn’t want a “lively presence” on their social channels? And if coral is the answer, bring on the coral! You could even incorporate it into your social media banner design.
Kyle Stock wrote it best in Bloomberg, “Pantone has effectively become to pigments what Anna Wintour is to the wider fashion world: part trendsetter, part enforcer.”
See what we’re saying?! So go for it and get Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2019 Living Coral into your brand presence!