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Meet 2019’s colour of the year – Living Coral

As most people involved in design and printing know, each year, Pantone – the people behind the colour charts – attempt to capture the zeitgeist in a single colour tone. Here at PMG, we happen to think they do a pretty good job.


With 2019 breathing down our necks, Pantone has revealed the colour of the coming year as Living Coral (Pantone 16-1546). While Pantone describes the shade as “sociable and spirited”, the selection also gives a nod to the increasing awareness of the health of our oceans over the last year, thanks, at least in part, to Sir David Attenborough’s urgent appeal as part of his BBC Planet Earth series.


And it’s not the first time Pantone has helped focus minds through its choice of colour of the year. The 2018 colour is Ultra Violet (Pantone 18-3838). In making the selection, Pantone urged people all over the world to use “originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us towards the future”. With world politics currently as it is, have we ever needed that message more?


In selecting Ultra Violet for 2018 also invoked the “mysteries of the cosmos” and in the last 12 months, scientists have launched the ICESat-2 to use laser beams to measure ice levels on earth and initiaited a mission to clear up space junk. But it is Nasa’s 2018 announcement that it is planning a crewed mission to Mars in the 2030s and that it is seeking to put human feet back on the moon in the next decade that really captured the imagination of people all over the globe. In the meantime, Nasa’s InSight robot landed safely on our closest neighbour just last month to explore the surface and what lies beneath.


In 2007, Pantone announced Chilli Pepper (Pantone 19-1557) as its colour of the year, saying “In 2007, we’re going to see people making greater strides toward expressing their individuality. The colour red makes a bold statement. We’re seeing shifts in people’s opinions on current events and major changes in the way they are expressing themselves through new technology. People are open to the possibilities of the future and Chili Pepper celebrates that.”


And what else happened in 2007? Social media took off in a big way with Facebook reaching 20 million subscribers and Twitter reaching new benchmarks. It was also the year that launched Netflix, Steve Jobs’ Apple blew the doors off with the introduction of the iPhone and Google announced its open source platform for mobile devices. Anyone heard of Android? In fact, 2007 may have been Pantone’s most prophetic year so far.


Perhaps with a subliminal focus on Living Coral in 2019, the world will get to grips with restoring the health of our oceans – now wouldn’t that be an extraordinary Christmas gift?

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