Color psychology has been long recognized for marketing and advertising.
Despite a lack of definitive scientific studies to back it up, “color psychology” defines a unique purpose for each shade and huge. For example, shades of red evoke passion and drama, oranges and yellows are optimistic and encouraging, while shades of blue feel trustworthy. So, since there are countless colors and shades, there is also a wealth of nuanced emotion that can be brought about be using particular colors.
For the past 19 years, Pantone, the experts in the language of color for design, print, and web have picked a single “Color of the Year”. It is not meant to predict upcoming trends, but to identify a single color, out of thousands, that perfectly captures a moment in time and the exact headspace of the world, not just the marketing world. 2019’s color could be seen all over, from runways and interiors, to corporate branding and web design. In particular, Laurie Pressman, vice president of Pantone’s color consulting unit, noticed the coral color in the new iPhone XR lineup, a possible reach towards combining technology and nature.
“It’s a reflection of what’s taking place. It’s a color snapshot symbolic of what’s taking place in the culture at a moment in time,” said Laurie, in an interview with Quartz.
2019 Pantone Color of the Year: Living Coral (Hex/HTML code: FA7268).
Living coral is a combination of peach and orange with warm golden undertones. “The overriding influence was the environment,” said Pressman. “Top of mind was the arresting beauty we see in nature and the importance of preserving the environment…Think of coral reefs, they provide shelter and sustenance to marine life and here we are watching them disappear.”
Though this year’s color may seem in direct contrast to the pervasive negativity of politics and many aspects of the business world, the Pantone experts have honed in on an overwhelming desire to embrace positivity and optimism, and to keep moving forward to a better future for both people and the environment. More than ever, even when many factors are at work to keep us down, humanity is striving towards peace, human connection, and and a greater understanding of the world around us that inspires stewardship of the environment.
Though Pressman tends to focus on colors and the way they exist in the current marketing space, she recognizes that they have a tangible effect on people and how they view and interact with the world. ”We’re looking for colors that embrace us with warmth and reassurance in our continually shifting environment,” she notes.
This upcoming year, let’s all take a step back, surround ourselves with colors that put us in a better headspace, and do our best to make the marketing world, and the world as whole, a kinder, more welcoming place.