Pantone’s choice of Classic Blue as its 2020 Color of the Year is a calming vision of hope and optimism for the new decade
The colour blue is everywhere around us: in the sky we look up to each morning and in the seas we travel across. It’s also the current buzzword of the beauty, wellness automotive and tech industries. Fitting, then, that to start the new decade, US trend-forecasting company Pantone has revealead its 2020 Color of the Year: Classic Blue, a hue it has described as being a “universal favourite”. (The 2019 selection was the “life-affirming” Living Coral, which was said to highlight the need for real-world experiences versus social media.) Pantone noted Classic Blue’s ability to instil calm and confidence, and its way of offering a dependable and stable foundation on which to build “as we cross the threshold into a new era”.
“We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by Pantone 19-4052 [Classic Blue],” remarks Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “A boundless blue, evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky, Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking – challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of our communication.”
Interestingly, blue is also not a colour associated with its traditional traits of sadness, despite centuries of artistic and literary minds using the hue to represent melancholy, including jazz music (such as Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue) and the genre of blues itself. “People don’t associate blue with sadness anymore,” says Eiseman. “I think that’s kind of an older-generation reaction.”
For 20 years, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in numerous industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design. Interestingly, its first-ever colour pick in 2000 was for Cerulean Blue.
Pantone Color Institute analysts scour the globe looking for new colour influences from the worlds of entertainment, film, art and fashion, as well as popular travel destinations, design, new lifestyles and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures and effects that impact colour, relevant social media platforms and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.
Classic Blue already maintains a strong, loyal following. The British Royal Family has always worn it; the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle both wore Classic Blue at separate engagements on November 7, 2019. Markle regularly wears Classic Blue dresses from Jason Wu and Roksanda Athena. Princess Diana wore the hue on numerous occasions, too. Kim Kardashian West has been recently spotted in the colour, while Lauren Hutton wore Armani in Classic Blue to the 2019 British Fashion Awards on December 2.
Classic Blue has also been the colour du jour of the wellness world. Many food scientists have been encouraging people to eat blueberries and blue-tinted foods that contain beneficial anthocyanins. And luxury skincare products such as Chanel’s latest offering, Blue Serum, have adopted the word in their nomenclature. The automotive and digital industries have long used the colour and continue to develop more products in the shade. Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Jaguars and more have all appropriated this colour.
Above all, in today’s ultra-fast-paced technological blur of a world, blue is viewed as a colour of anti-anxiety, hope and optimism. “It has depth to it, but it’s a color of anticipation because we’re looking ahead,” says Eiseman. “What’s going to come?” May your visions for 2020 be tinged with Classic Blue.
Images: © 2017 Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.; Instagram: @kensingtonroyal; Instagram: @sussexroyal;
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