Pantone’s 2019 Colour of the Year is that of the sky at dusk and of our underwater reefs which are hanging on for dear life: the optimistic Living Coral (Pantone 16-1546).
Following 2018’s intense and dramatic Ultra Violet, this year’s colour is a life-affirming shade of orange with a golden undertone that’s decidedly more natural than last year’s choice. The vibrant yet gentle Living Coral is an offering of shelter, warmth and nourishment, as well as represents buoyancy in the ever-changing landscape.
As you can imagine, the pressing and inescapable environmental conversation that’s taken place over the past year has played a large part in Pantone’s decision:
“We get energy from nature. Just as coral reefs are a source of sustenance and shelter to sea life, vibrant yet mellow Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.”
While the 2019 Colour of the Year is a poignant reminder of the damage inflicted by global warming on the Great Barrier Reef, scientists reported that 30% of the reef’s coral was bleached and died during a “catastrophic” nine-month marine heatwave in 2016.
“Even though there is a seriousness—the nurturing aspect of preserving our ocean coral reefs—at the same time there is that element of playfulness that is attached to the colour,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute.
The 2019 Colour of the Year rides on the wave of last year’s desire to dabble in uncharted creative outlets. The colour has long been a favourite of the beauty industry, with NARS’ Orgasm Blush and both Zoeva and Huda Beauty releasing palettes in that shade.
Whether it’s being used on social media, in nature or underwater, the naturally vivacious Living Coral will mesmerize the eye and mind.