The Pantone Matching System is the color standardization system that assists with colour matching and identification. It is comprised of 1867 solid colors with three or four-digit ID numbers followed by either; U = Uncoated, C = Coated or M = Matte. This system is widely used and accepted in nearly every design industry, with the exception of print, which uses a CMYK system, but now we are getting off track.
Every year Pantone releases a “color of the year”. The team of color experts at Pantone gather around the proverbial table and decide what the colour is going to be. This colour often inspires what we will be seeing in many industries, especially fashion, interior design, furniture, automotive, etc. The thought of these types of decisions being made somewhere by people in a room, seems like something out of a movie. In fact, you might recall the iconic scene from the 2006 film, “The Devil Wears Prada” where Anne Hathaway’s character Andrea scoffs at what she thinks are identical belts and leads Meryl Streep’s character Miranda Priestly into this monologue:
“Oh…okay. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don’t know, that lumpy blue sweater, because you are trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean. You’re also blithely unaware that in 2002 Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns, and then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent, wasn’t it, who showed cerulean military jackets? And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers, and then it filtered down through the department stores, and trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you no doubt fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs, and so it’s sort of comical how you think that you have made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry, when in fact, you’re wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room, from a pile of stuff.”
(Courtesy of 20th Century Fox, 2006)
Are we influenced by what others have selected for us? Is Pantone thinking ahead and accurately predicting the years color, or is it just a wild guess? It is an impossible question especially if you add in how different industries around the world take their own time to arrive at trends. Regardless of the trends whatever colours you choose as part of your design, only have to work for you.
So let’s do a quick recap, last year’s colour was “living coral” and it was a colour we did see a lot of. What do you think? Were you able to see last years color?
And now let’s move on to the Pantone colour for 2020: classic blue!
The Pantone color of the year 2020, 19-4052 Classic Blue.Image courtesy Pantone
What do you think of this year’s colour? Based on some of the incredible blues we saw incorporated into cabinet design and kitchens this past year, we think this trend is one that will easily catch on.1 | 2 | 3