Look for a Classic Blue 2020

Evidently, Pantone Color Institute feels our pain.

The world needs a little more stability and calm, which is why “Classic Blue” is the colour of the year for 2020 according to Pantone’s consulting service—which predicts global colour trends and advises companies on colours for branding.

“The Pantone Colour of the Year highlights the relationship between trends in colour and what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time, a colour that reflects what individuals feel they need, that colour can hope to answer,” said Laurie Pressman, vice-president of the Pantone Color Institute, in a release.

According to PCI, Classic Blue (or PANTONE 19-4052, if you want to be specific) is “imprinted in our psyches as a restful colour” that brings a “sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge.”

Refuge from what? Well, while blue is closely associated with the Democratic Party in the U.S., PCI told the New York Times that the choice of Classic Blue for 2020 it is not a political one.

Rather, PCI suggests Classic Blue can help with technology overload.

“As technology continues to race ahead of the human ability to process it all, it is easy to understand why we gravitate to colours that are honest and offer the promise of protection,” said the PCI release. “Non-aggressive and easily relatable, the trusted Classic Blue lends itself to relaxed interaction. Associated with the return of another day, this universal favourite is comfortably embraced.”

Pantone Color Institute—part of Pantone, which “provides the universal language of colour”—has been naming a Colour of the Year for 21 years.

The choice is based on Pantone’s colour experts reviewing what is happening in the worlds of entertainment, art, fashion and design, while factoring in lifestyle and socio-economic trends, as well as the impact of new technologies, materials, textures, and media.

The Colour of the Year choice may be more of a marketing gambit for Pantone, mostly of interest to people working in the creative industries more than everyday consumers—who might find it hard to believe that PANTONE 19-4052 can aid in concentration, bring “laser-like clarity” and foster resilience, as PCI suggests.

That said, the New York Times reported that the past two years saw an increase in products sold in the colour of the year: Ultra Violet in 2018 and Living Coral last year.

So does Classic Blue really mean anything to marketing? Maybe not, but we think it makes our homepage look cool.

David Brown