January 17, 2023
The envelope, please. Pantone® Color Institute has announced that Viva Magenta (PANTONE 18-1750) is its 2023 Color of the Year. The Pantone Color of the Year is a color trend forecast utilized in design, fashion, and printing.
The program launched in 1999 to "highlight the relationship between color and culture. Colors of the year are chosen because they reflect the global culture at a specific moment in time," according to Laurie Pressman, the institute's vice president (via NPR).
The institute describes the year's hue as "assertive, but not aggressive, a carmine red that does not boldly dominate but instead takes a 'fist in a velvet glove approach. Exuding dynamism, PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta is a transformative red tone capable of driving design to create a more positive future.
"Viva Magenta descends from the red family and is inspired by the red of cochineal, one of the most precious dyes belonging to the natural dye family as well as one of the strongest and brightest the world has known."
We also call it a nifty color.
The Color Communication Problem
Talking about color can be weird and highly subjective. Red, purple, pink, ocher, yellow and blue gives us an idea of what neighborhood a color lives in, but not the address.
For instance, MAC, the cosmetic company, boasts 209 different lipstick shades with fanciful names like Yum-Yum, Chili, Viva Glam, Rachel, and Powder Kiss. And Benjamin Moore's paints feature more than ten shades of white and light gray for your home interior. So, what is the difference between White Dove and Chantilly Lace? You can take a chip and match it to your drapes.
However, eyeballing isn't precise enough for design. But Pantone is. The Pantone numbers ensure that we're all using the same color language to make your logo appear in the same exact color, from coffee cups to printed material.
Today, the Pantone Color Book is ubiquitous in its iconic fan format on the desk of your nearest designer, right next to the can of ‘Red Bull’.