Pantone announces its colour for 2018

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Pantone Color Institute has announced its colour of the year to be a deep purple hue of ultra-violet.

The colour was chosen to evoke counterculture flair, a grab for originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking, Pantone Vice President Laurie Pressman said.

Pressman said, “We are living in complex times. We’re seeing the fear of going forward and how people are reacting to that fear. The Pantone Color 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.”

She said that the colour reflects the idea of living not inside the box or outside the box but with no box at all. Specifically, she called the colour “that complexity, that marriage, between the passionate red violets and the strong indigo purples”.

Ultra Violet leans more to blue than red and that, Pressman said, “speaks to thoughtfulness, a mystical quality, a spiritual quality”. There’s still a passionate heat with enough red undertones, and a touch of periwinkle, but “it’s really the cool that prevails”.

The 2018 colour of the year follows 2017’s Greenery, a grassy fresh, revitalising shade that reflected new beginnings.

“I see this as very much an optimistic colour, an empowering colour,” she said.

“We want to find some peace and calm within ourselves. How do we quiet our minds? Well, there are meditation and yoga studios, some of which rely on violet light that some believe has the power to heal. A company in the United Kingdom has come up with a shower head fitted with the same hue of light that turns bathing into purple rain. There’s an embrace of purple cauliflower and sweet potato, joining eggplant and purple-coloured cocktails.”

The colour has a history that has shifted over the decades. It played a role in logos used by the women’s suffrage movement of the early 1900s in Britain, lent a flash to flappers in the 1920s and has popped in paintings through history, from the seated woman’s dress in The Pained Heart of Pre-Raphaelite Arthur Hughes and the work of Gustav Klimt to Bauhaus modernists such as Wassily Kandinsky and on to Keith Haring and Andy Warhol.

In recent times, Grace Jones, Lady Gaga, Kylie Jenner, Beyonce, Katy Perry and Rihanna have embraced the colour.

Richard Wagner surrounded himself with purple when he composed and Leonardo da Vinci wrote that meditation and prayer were “10 times more powerful if done while sitting in the violet light, shining through a stained glass window”.

“It’s a colour that can be worn by so many different skin tones,” Pressman said.

Rihanna in a 2017 Dior ad with gorgeous violet lips and purple-tinted sunglasses nailed this colour to perfection.

“When you think of this colour she perfectly sums up the originality, the inventiveness, forward thinking, the non-conformity,” Pressman said. “The exploration, the expression, the do-your-own-thing. She thinks differently than anybody else. No boundaries.”