As we inch to the end of 2019, we have been seeing various predictions for Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2020. We always follow the anticipation leading up to December, however, this year we decided to dig a little deeper. In order to understand the “Color of the Year”, it’s necessary to start from the beginning.
Pantone started as a printing company in the early 1960s in Carlstadt, New Jersey. At this time, printers, designers, and ad agencies had trouble communicating the exact color they needed. Imagine someone asking you to print something red - you don’t know if it needs to be apple red, burgundy, cherry red, crimson, maroon, ruby red… and the list goes on and on. So you can imagine the frustration these printers were experiencing. Then, in 1963, the first PMS (Pantone Matching System) guide of only 10 colors was launched. Now just to clarify… Pantone doesn’t sell actual ink, instead, they are telling you how to mix the correct portions of CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) to make your color. Fast forward to the 1970s and Pantone has sold over 100,000 chip books. They might not have been the first color-standard, but they had undoubtedly become the most well-known. Pantone became synonymous with a way to classify, communicate, and match colors. Fast forward to present day, Pantone is the go-to color matching system for not only the design industry, but also paint, textile, and plastic manufacturers.
Every December, starting in the year 2000, Pantone announces the color of the upcoming year. The Pantone Color of the Year can be seen as the trendsetting concept for branding, marketing, and the creative society as a whole. Someone might ask, how does one pick a color for the year? The Pantone Color Institute studies color trends throughout the year combing the world for color influences. They take into consideration all aspects of society: fashion, marketing, social media, and even politics. The color chosen each year has become increasingly influential and now has hundreds of brands tackling the task of designing products with The Color of the Year. This just reinforces the importance of The Pantone Color Institute and is hopefully peaking your interest on how to incorporate The Color of the Year into your business or personal life.
We know it’s only October, but stick around! Before the announcement of 2020’s Color of the Year, we will do a full recap of past colors all the way from 2000 to 2019 and we’ll even throw in our predictions for 2020!