Who Gets to Dictate the Color of the Year?

Pantone has proclaimed ultraviolet the color of 2018.

Posted Mar 23, 2018

In Italy’s windows I saw the colors that would soon be the “It” colors of the year.

Violet, one year. Camel, another. Italy is always ahead of the curve.

What is the color for 2018?

Ultraviolet, which, according to The New York Times, signifies power and wealth, combined with the mucous of snail shells. Lovely. Last year it was green.

According to the Times article, the self-proclaimed gurus at Pantone get to say what the color will be. It’s not true, as the Times says, that Pantone’s color chart is “the means by which a printer [can] faithfully and consistently reproduce any color in Pantone’s library,” as I can attest when I had to bring my color expert, Richard Graef, to the presses to oversee color matches on brochures that were being printed. "A little more blue." "A little more yellow." "A touch of black." And as I can attest when a client yelled, “This is not McCutchen red!” when a dark, brick red was 1/64 off-shade. You can’t match Pantone colors exactly, but you can get them pretty close.

Pantone colors can affect everything from fashion and nail polish to cars and housewares. Pantone sent 10 people across the globe to gather hints of the “it” color of 2018 and declared it purple.

Prompt: What’s your favorite color and what does it symbolize to you?

Copyright © 2018 by Laura Deutsch