‘Vibrant, Yet Mellow’ Living Coral Is 2019’s Pantone Color of the Year

Living coral, described as “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge,” is Pantone’s 2019 color of the year.

Starting in 2000, the Pantone Color Institute has chosen a color of the year, drawing on trend observations from areas such as the entertainment industry, travel, fashion, design, and decor.

This year’s color choice is particularly timely in its inclusion of the word “living,” as coral reefs are increasingly killed around the world. The announcement also comes shortly after climate scientists released a report showing that global carbon emissions are climbing to an all-time high.

Pantone explained that “in its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, this vivifying and effervescent color mesmerizes the eye and mind,” adding that living coral is “evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color.”

The color is not only a reaction to growing environmental concerns, but also to the stresses of everyday life more generally, from financial and political crises to the rise of social media. In its release, Pantone described living coral as “embrac[ing] us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.”

Laurie Pressman, Pantone’s vice president, told the Associated Press that as a society we’re looking for colors “that bring nourishment and the comfort and familiarity that make us feel good.”

Living coral is “not too heavy. We want to play. We want to be uplifted,” she went on. “It’s emotional nourishment. It’s a big hug.”

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