October 14th 2019

When will Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2020 be announced and why is it important?

When will Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2020 be announced and why is it important?


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The unveiling of the Pantone Colour of the Year is an event. A big event. Its influence every year cannot be underestimated – and 2020 will be no different.

Each year, Pantone reveal their chosen colour through their world-renowned Colour Institute and, whatever they reveal, we can expect it to have a major impact during the following 12 months.

Due to the cultural significance of the colour of the year, there will be a frenzy of media activity. Articles and blogs will be written, videos will be filmed and the colour will trend on social media, as the worlds of graphic design and packaging, fashion, beauty and home décor, to name but a few, launch new products to coincide with the new colour.

Last year, Pantone unveiled Living Coral 16-1546 as Color of the Year for 2019, revealing it to be a “shade that affirms life through a dual role of energising and nourishing” and “reinforces how colours can embody our collective experience”.

Pantone COY 2019 Living Coral16-1546

Image Pantone Color Institute Living Coral

What does Pantone have in store for us in 2020? As yet, we still don’t know. But we can try to fill in some of the gaps until then.

What is the Pantone Colour of the Year?

The Pantone Colour of the Year was created by the Pantone Color Institute in 2000 to guide creative professionals. Used as a guide and an inspiration for a number of creative industries such as apparel, industrial design, marketing and art, the colour of the year has been licenced to a variety of products from cosmetics to consumer electronics

Colour trends are analysed and studied throughout the year to help the Pantone Color Institute make their decision on the next Pantone Colour of the Year.

They will evaluate all aspects of society – marketing, fashion, social media and even politics. The Colour of the Year has become increasingly influential in the world of brand marketing and design.

Image: Pantone Color Institute President Leatrice ‘Lee’ Eiseman

When is the Pantone Colour of the Year announced?

The Pantone Colour of the Year for 2020 will be announced in early December, as it is every year. Pantone has yet to confirm what the exact date will be, so until then we have to wait with bated breath.

Why is the Pantone Colour of the Year important?

Pantone is a major influencer in the world of colour design and trends. The Colour of the Year provides strategic direction for the world of trend and design, which reflects the Pantone Colour Institute’s year-round work collaborating with top designers and brands. Brands such as Tiffany have gone as far as trademarking their specific Pantone colour (1837, not commercially available).

Pantone also use the Color of the Year to help you identify the age of your Pantone book. The 2019 Living Coral covers of the Formula Guide Set GP1601N and Fashion, Home+Interior Color Guide are available while stocks last.

Around the world, individuals and businesses are becoming more and more fascinated with colour and are eager to tap into its ability to convey deep messages and meanings.

Designers and brands should, according to Pantone, feel empowered to use colour to inspire and influence.

As Laurie Pressman, vice-president of the Pantone Colour Institute, adds: “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.”

Image: Pantone Color Institute Vice President Laurie Pressman 

When did the Pantone Colour of the Year start?

The Pantone Colour of the Year began life in 2000 when the very first Pantone Colour Institute’s chosen hue was Cerulean (Pantone 15-4020).

That colour, and that moment in time, was further evidence that the Pantone Colour Institute members are the worldwide experts for all things colour-related.

For 20 years, Pantone’s Colour of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design.

Pantone was established in New York in the 1960s, and the Pantone Color Institute is now the world’s leading consultants on colour, collating trend information globally and communicating through trend forecasts. Their knowledge and expertise of colour is unrivalled.

Who chooses the Pantone Colour of the Year?

Every year, Pantone hosts a number of secret meetings where representatives of various nations’ colour standard groups will come together.

After several days of presentations and debate, the Pantone Color Institute will choose a colour for the following year.

The selection process is given a great deal of consideration and trend analysis, and Pantone’s colour experts comb the world and tap into the zeitgeist looking for new colour influences.

That can include the film and entertainment industries, fashion, design, new lifestyles, socio-economic conditions, art collections and even popular travel destinations.

Influences may also derive from new technologies, textures, materials and effects that impact colour, relevant social media platforms and sporting events that capture worldwide attention.

This is true for the recently released Metallic Shimmers Collection which drew inspiration from consumer electronics.

Image: Pantone Metallic Shimmers Color Guide 

Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute and the person ultimately responsible for the Colour of the Year, has said: “I look for ascending colour trends, colours that are being used in broader ways and broader context than before.”

What will the Pantone Colour of the Year be in 2020?

What the actual colour of the year will be is a hot topic for debate at VeriVide. Our top three suggestions are  the bright, optimistic and energising tones of Fiery Red 18-1662, Saffron 14-1064 and Biscay Green 15-5718 but a strong outsider is Classic Blue 19-4052.

As we predicted last year darker yellows and mustards have continued to be popular in both clothing and homeware into this Autumn season and for next year Pantone are predicting the yellow and orange hues will become brighter due to our desire for positivity and uplift, hence the addition of Saffron14-1064 in the New York Color Trend Report and Flame Orange 15-1157 in the London Color Trend Report for Spring 2020. The use of Fiery Red 18-1662 also promotes confidence and determination whereas Classic Blue 19-4052 is a more traditional and stable colour which may be popular in this currently unstable World.

What are the past Pantone Colours of the Year?

The Colour of the Year 2020 will be the 21st colour unveiled by the Pantone Color Institute, and excitement levels are on a high until the big reveal in December.

But what were the colours that preceded it? Here we give you a rundown of all the colours from 2019 to the very first in 2000.

Past and present Pantone Color of the Year:

What now?

If you cannot wait for the announcement of the Colour of the Year 2020, why not have a look back at past Pantone Colour of the Year Swatches or read the Fashion Color Trend Report for Spring/ Summer 2020. If you have any questions, please contact us via email at enquiries@verivide.com or phone on +44 (0)116 284 7790.

About Pantone and the Pantone Colour Institute

Pantone LLC Incorporated is the global colour authority and provider of professional colour standards for the design industries. Pantone products have encouraged colourful exploration and expressions of creativity from inspiration to implementation for more than 50 years.

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