Pantone, the connoisseurs of colour, have announced the 2019 colour of the year, *cue the drumroll* and say hello to Pantone16-1546 better know as 'Living Coral.'
Pantone themselves describe it as "animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energises and enlivens with a softer edge". We like to think of it like 'millenial pink' and 'safety orange' had a love affair, resulting in their beautiful lovechild 'living coral'.
Let's take it back a few steps... 'millennial pink' had its moment in 2017 and not going to lie, it seemed like its reign might never end, we saw it filtering all the way through to the mid 2018s! BUT all good things must come to an end so in Summer 2018 we welcomed 'safety orange', with a big thanks to youthful hues and splashes of neon hitting the AW 18/19 runways through the likes of Chanel, Gucci and Givenchy.
Why does it matter? Colours impact us in a number of ways, many are subconscious and based on instinct and emotion. Some of these factors are learned for example red in Western culture symbolises passion, energy, love or danger (think of red roses and the phrase 'caught red handed') however in Asian cultures it represents luck, joy, celebration and prosperity (during Chinese New Year red envelopes are distributed for good fortune).
The way we feel about colour is attributed to what we've learned, personal preference and subconscious instincts. When we pick up on consistent colours around us it can trigger emotion that impacts every decision you make.
Prime example: ever wondered why fast-food chains seem to stick to a uniform of clashing red and yellow? It's actually to initiate a psychological process that increases stimulation, appetite and feelings of friendliness. The colour combo also triggers a need for speed getting you in-N-out ASAP.
Living coral is a combination of hues including:
pink: representing sensitivity, tranquility, optimism and nurturing
and orange: the colour of encouragement, warmth, happiness and enthusiasm.
With the economy in uncertainty and a general global feeling of mayhem seeming to be rife, the choice of colour from Pantone comes as a source of warmth and comfort. For many it triggers an association with the ocean (minus all the floating plastic that we now associate with that!) and the rainbows of coral that act as protection for a the creatures within. Our affinity for oceans is primal whether you love or fear the water all humans feel an instinctual emotional response to it.
With living coral here for the year, let's hope those happy hues filter through to bring us a coral-like comfort from any storms to come.