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Pantone Announces Its Color of the Year

by Kylie Ora Lobell
art & design, featured

Designers, listen up.

Pantone recently announced the color of the year for 2018 is PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet.

source: Pantone

In a press release, the company said they chose this color because “Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”

Pantone went on to say that musical icons and artists like Prince, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie used ultra violet to express their identities. It was because of them that this color became popular throughout western culture.


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“PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.”

All about Pantone

Pantone, which dubs itself the “the global authority on color,” is a worldwide provider of color systems. They create technology for the selection and accurate communication of colors for many different industries. They are best known for their Pantone Machine System, a fan book that contains standardized colors.

According to the company, each day, more than 10 million manufacturers and designers work with Pantone when selecting colors. They organize about 5,000 Pantone colors into two different systems; one is for print and packaging and the other is for product and design.

They separate the systems because each market needs relevant colors. For instance, fashion designers will deal more with neutrals, blacks and whites, while packaging and print designers work with colors that will stand out on a shelf to customers.

If you’re a graphic designer, you can visit Pantone’s website to find out what common colors are used in packaging and print, look at different metallic colors, pastels and neons and order fan guides. The site also has sections for fashion design and product design.

Why does the color of the year matter?

Pantone is on the pulse of what’s happening in the world of colors. If you’re working with consumers, you want to use colors that are hot right now and will appeal to them. After all, there’s a reason millennial brands are using millennial pink and high-end fashion designers utilize the color black in their classy creations.

Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, says that, “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.”

The press release explains that ultra violet is usually associated with mindfulness practices, which offer some refuge from the over stimulated world of today. “The use of purple-toned lighting in meditation spaces and other gathering places energizes the communities that gather there and inspire connection,” it says.

In a time when tweets rule headlines, global warming is causing fires and flooding, and it seems like World War 3 is imminent every single day, PANTONE’s Ultra Violet can work to calm everyone down just a little bit.

Do you want to learn more about color matching and design in general? Enroll in a CreativeLive design class today to increase your skillset and push your career forward. Now offering classes like Color for Designers, Graphic Design Fundamentals: Color and Color Fundamentals.


Master color principles and learn how to apply them with Mary Jane Begin. 

Learn more about color theory on CreativeLive.


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Kylie Ora Lobell

Kylie Ora Lobell writes for brands, blogs, and print publications. She covers content marketing, digital marketing, and runs Kylie’s Tips for Writers, a blog about writing.