Pantone's Color of the Year – Yay or Nay?
Every year Pantone declares the color of the year. It's a great tool to have if you are a designer, but what does it mean for the everyday person?
I looked at 7 years of Pantone's Color of the Year and here's what I found:
2015 – Marsala
Marsala was an earthy, red wine color, suitable for fall and winter. This color may have done well with the upper eschelon, but for everyday people, Sea Salt was the winner that year. In fact, the top five most popular colors in 2015 all had a relaxed, beachy theme.
2016 – Rose Quartz / Serenity Blue
Pantone had a tie for first place in 2016 with Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue. The pastels were just a bit too childlike for most, and consumers were much more into contrast. Black, white and gray were the most popular colors of 2016.
2017 – Greenery
2017 was a year for the natural colors, and Greenery was chosen as Pantone's prize color. Decor enthusiasts loved it, but used it more as a pop of color rather than the standard. Neutrals were the winner with consumers, with the top spots going to greige, white, and gray.
2018 – Ultra Violet
2018 went vibrant, with Ultra Violet as Pantone's choice. However, home decor enthusiasts stayed with the tried and true black, and navy made a splash as a very close second.
2019 – Living Coral
From outer space to under the sea, Pantone made a huge switch of colors in 2019. Living Coral did well with both designers and consumers as a perfect pop of color, especially in sunrooms and patios. Coral was the perfect companion to some of the most popular colors of that year, including bronze and blue.
2020 – Classic Blue
Finally in 2020, Pantone gave us a color we could all love. Classic Blue, a rich dark royal blue is a great choice as a paint or décor color. Even though white and navy were the most popular colors with homeowners, this is the closest Pantone has come to getting it right for everyone.
2021 – Illuminating / Ultimate Gray
After a year like 2020, I was hoping Pantone would come up with a palette that was calm and soothing. For the second time in a decade, there are two winners for 2021, Illuminating and Ultimate Gray. While the two colors beautifully complement each other, I think I would have preferred just the gray. To me, Illuminating is more of an accent color to the Ultimate Gray.
So what do you think? Are you a tried and true Color of the Year enthusiast? Or do you side with the most popular colors each year? I would love to hear your thoughts!