I have my skeptical spectacles on today.

PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral – Color of the Year 2019

I smell a marketing scheme, more than a prediction of a social trend, reduced to a representative color. I’m of course referring to Pantone’s twentieth installment of Color of the Year. The industry’s leading color company has spoken and it has said, “Living Coral.” More like, hello, the coral reef is dying! But honestly, I won’t even touch that subject further than to mention it is on my mind. It saddens me.

An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.

Pantone has teamed up with Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio of select swanky boutique hotels to bring us Pantone Pantry, an “immersive tribute to color.” This all just happened to debut in Miami for Miami Art Week and Art Basel this past week at the Royal Palm South Beach. For anyone that doesn’t know, I would say this is basically the art world’s equivalent to the Met Gala. Perhaps sprinkled with some Coachella-esqu vibes or as the Tribute Portfolio might put it, “indie-spirited and creative communities.”

During one of my online reading spirals, I came across an article in dezeen, critiquing Pantone’s newest addition to color palette elite. It was quite refreshing to read that someone else was not onboard with this selection. [link cited below]

However, considered calm is on the horizon. I say this with optimistic conviction, because nature abhors a vacuum and action always follows reaction, but we won’t see the results of this particular pendulum swing until early 2020. Instead, right now and into 2019 is a time for the continued calling out of an endemic societal hypocrisy and that requires more subtlety and nuance than one-dimensional colour trend statements. Especially one that’s emblematic, by association, of mankind’s systematic destruction of the natural world.


— Michelle Ogundehin; “Pantone’s colour of the year Living Coral is naive.” dezeen. Dec. 10, 2018.

All in all. For me, it’s a peachier version of 2012’s Tango Tangerine (add white and a dash of yellow). And I don’t think they’ve had quite the big hit since then in their color forecasting. Well, I take that back, 2016’s Rose Quartz & Serenity seemed to me to have struck a nerve.

Maybe they should have more color duo years. I agree with Michelle in her assessment that we are living in a time far too complex to have a mere single tone represent an entire year.

I could really go on writing about how all of this is interconnected; how life and culture inspire art and color which inspires fashion and trends and so on and so blahhhhhh. But. I have far too much shit to get done today. 

But I’m optimistic since I have an affinity for red tones… but yah. I’m done.




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