Colour language standards provider Pantone has named its 18-3838, Ultra Violet, as the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2018.
The company, a subsidiary of X-Rite, describes the colour as a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade that communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us towards the future. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute, says, “We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level.
“From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.”
The company elaborates further: “Complex and contemplative, 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.”
It goes on to say, “Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets. Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet. The colour is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world. The use of purple-toned lighting in meditation spaces and other gathering places energizes the communities that gather there and inspire connection.”
Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Colour Institute, sees a deeper meaning in the colour, adding, “The Pantone Colour of the Year has come to mean so much more than what’s trending in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today.
“As individuals around the world become more fascinated with colour and realize its ability to convey deep messages and meanings, designers and brands should feel empowered to use colour to inspire and influence. The Colour of the Year is one moment in time that provides strategic direction for the world of trend and design, reflecting the Pantone Colour Institute’s year-round work doing the same for designers and brands.”
Pantone has partnered with Saatchi Art, an online gallery for emerging art, to create a limited-edition collection of official Pantone Colour of the Year 2018 prints. The collection will include new works by international artists, working in painting, sculpture and printmaking, that embody the spirit of Ultra Violet.
Pantone has also partnered with Adobe Stock for a curated Colour of the Year 2018 collection.
For the first time, Pantone will also release limited-edition collections of Pantone Colour of the Year 2018 Formula Guides and Fashion, Home + Interiors Colour Guides as collector’s items for designers.
The company sees opportunities across the board for using the colour. It says, “As packaging design becomes more sophisticated, Ultra Violet offers complexity and nuance that appeals to our desire for originality in all that we touch. Similarly, in graphic design, Ultra Violet resonates with this dynamic medium through its multi-dimensional feeling. Shades of Ultra Violet are increasingly used in packaging and graphic design by forward-looking brands in the CPG, luxury, and beauty worlds as well as by personalities and artists seeking to stand out.
“Considered exotic and enticing, purple fruits, vegetables, and starches, such as acai, purple shaded cauliflower, yams, carrots, asparagus and cabbage are also known for their natural health benefits. These new “it” foods are naturally rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and also bring vibrancy and sophistication to the table.
“On the runway or the streets, Ultra Violet provides a theatrical linkage for both men’s and women’s styles. True to the coupled nature of Ultra Violet, created by combining red and blue, Ultra Violet lends itself to unique colour combinations in fashion and is easier to pair with all colours on the spectrum than one might think. With golds or other metallics, Ultra Violet becomes luxurious and dazzling; with greens or greys it evokes natural elegance. Similarly, Ultra Violet takes on distinct appearances with different materials. Lush velvets in the colour suggest intrigue for evening, but are also unexpectedly modern in athleisure or sneakers. In accessories, jewellery, and eyewear, Ultra Violet suggests the complexities of natural gems, textures, and florals.
“In interiors, Ultra Violet can transform a room into one of extraordinary self-expression, or conversely its polish can tone down a room with subdued, modern pairings. Adding spice and brightness, Ultra Violet calls attention to a tufted couch, piece of art or accent wall.