It’s here! Pantone has announced their Colour of the Year for 2019: Living Coral. So what does that mean for the world of design in the year ahead?
Sunsets on golden shores, shells, beaches, tropical coral reefs… just a few things that come to mind when we think of Living Coral.
And, as in previous years, Pantone’s Colour of the Year comes with a mission:
“An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.”
Every year, the biggest name in colour chooses a hue that’s inspired by the year ahead. The Pantone Colour Institute do some pretty big analysis during the selection process. Looking at everything from colour trends, fashion design, art, interiors, culture and more. The Colour of the Year is intended to represent a global snapshot of the year, encapsulated in a single hue.
This year, Pantone have chosen a bold, bright, pink powerhouse – Living Coral – as their colour of the year.
Colours can evoke different feelings, meanings and reactions. Although there’s an element of colour psychology, our experiences can change our emotions towards certain shades, attracting us to some and repelling us from others.
So, what does this fiery-blush hue mean for the world of design? And how can designers and businesses alike incorporate this bold tone into their projects in the coming year? We chatted to three of our MOO designers to find out.
If I’m completely honest, my initial reaction to Living Coral was apprehensive! I first thought it was kind of dated; ‘80s coral swimsuits, lipstick and nail varnish and other fashion trends, but then I considered how I’ve used coral and similar peachy tones in colour palettes. It’s a really positive, uplifting colour with a freshness to it.
The name Living Coral naturally makes me think of beautiful coral reefs and the multitude of tropical sea creatures living in those surroundings. It makes me think of nature and the impact that other warm colours have on us emotionally. I feel like coral exudes warmth and has connotation of humanness and protection, making it quite comforting.
I’ve also heard that 2019 is the year of the pig in the Chinese zodiac. Colours that are considered lucky and influential in 2019 are all from the fire element, including pink, orange and red – all warm colours within the same realm as coral.
Living Coral will work great in Graphic Design. It looks amazing with pretty much any tint or shade of blue, and together they create a kind of idyllic feeling of positivity and lightness. This could be beneficial in design, maybe as a visual relief from the sometimes serious aspects of life.
When I think of the colour coral, my instant reaction is that it transports me somewhere I know, a familiar place, where it’s warm and bright.
To tie the colour coral to a particular memory, it reminds me of visit to the Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam where the vivid coral walls work magnificently against the green foliage in the foreground. It’s a beautiful scene, and I definitely recommend a visit. It also brings to mind that familiarity of the beach, at sunset, on the Mediterranean coast.
Coral is a bold, stand out shade that works well against both dark and light colours. This makes it extremely versatile in its application. I could see this being used in accents and details on a range of products to make them part of a collection, or to create an easily recognizable, stand out brand colour palette.
When I think of Living Coral, I’m imagining myself lying on a sunny beach under a palm tree, sipping a cocktail the same colour out of a coconut. It’s bold and playful, yet somehow relaxing and reassuring at the same time. Maybe I’ve been tricked into it by the name ‘Living Coral’, but I’m definitely getting tropical vibes.
Have you ever seen a pig blushing? I have. This is the exact colour of their cheeks. I do have to say though, I think Monzo got here first – the colour is strikingly similar to their iconic ‘hot coral’ bank cards that I see all over the place here in the UK.
I can see this being a great colour for building a brand, but be mindful when using it on your interfaces. It’s quite lively, so too much of it might distract the users’ attention. Putting key actions in this colour could help to make them more prominent, but make sure there’s enough contrast with any text you put over it so that it’s easy enough to read!