June 16, 2019

The color of the year is Living Coral [World Oceans Day/National Ocean Month]

Posted by Laura Guertin

Although the announcement came out back in December 2018, it is worth revisiting the winner of the Pantone Color of the Year, especially its connection to World Oceans Day/National Oceans Month.


Pantone’s website shares some of its reasoning behind the selection of Living Coral as its color of the year:

Vibrant, yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.

In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.

Representing the fusion of modern life, PANTONE Living Coral is a nurturing colour that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.

An article from Adweek provided additional background with regards to the selection of this color, stating that “The decision of what will be Color of the Year is up to the Pantone Color Institute, Pantone’s consulting division that analyzes each year’s color trends. In particular, they pay attention to those that have appeared in branding efforts. Pantone pointed to Airbnb and Apple’s use of coral over the past few months as a sign of the color’s domination.” The New York Times published an illustrated column that calls attention to possible product partnerships with Living Coral, from candles and nail polish to yoga mats and muffin trays.

What has been the reaction to Pantone’s decision for the 2019 Color of the Year?



With Living Coral as the Color of the Year, why hasn’t the science community tapped into this more, generating more marketing and awareness? Brian Kahn writes for EARTHER how we are missing a great opportunity, and tells the haters to stop hating:


Pantone writes:

PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral emits the desired, familiar and energising aspects of colour found in nature. In its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, this vivifying and effervescent colour mesmerises the eye and mind. Lying at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, PANTONE Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of colour.

So how about it, science community – shall we make the month of June a chance to revisit and call attention to the color of the year? After all, it is National Ocean Month [see previous blog post].




And if you are looking for more color options, check out the Glowing Glowing Gone (https://www.glowing.org/) campaign/contest, calling for action for coral reef conservation by highlighting the global danger signaled by fluorescing corals.