Drum roll, please.
The color of the year has been revealed: Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet. To the layman, it’s purple. A deep, dark purple.
But let’s call it Ultra Violet, with capital letters, because that’s its name, according to the Pantone Color Institute.
I didn’t know this until I read Jessica Maples’s fashion column for this issue.
Back in the day, in the yesteryears of my career in typography with a hint of graphics on the side, I knew Pantone as the creator of the Pantone Formula Guide, which we all called the “PMS book.”
PMS was an abbreviation for Pantone Matching System long before premenstrual syndrome was diagnosed as a thing.
When designing print materials for clients, we could choose colors from this massive Pantone selection, tell the printer the number, and be assured that the final product would be exactly the right color.
That is, the final color would be identical to the color we chose from the swatch book – they would match.
They still do that, and yes, there’s an app for that, but Pantone also has this whole big “institute” that gets to name the color of the year.
Whose fun job is that?
The Pantone Color Institute says it offers color systems for print and products – including fashion, they compile color trend reports, and even create custom brand colors for clients. The Color of the Year falls into their “Color Intelligence” category.
The honored color is described on the Pantone Color Institute website in ethereal, New Age terms: “Inventive and imaginative, Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.”
Further, it is a “dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade,” one that “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.”
Honestly, I didn’t think colors were so darned complicated. Back in the days of the PMS book, we picked colors that we liked, or the client liked, that looked nice with photos in the ad, or the client’s logo.
I wish we had known we could choose something that was visionary.
After this color-naming revelation, I realized that social media had turned purple – uh, Ultra Violet – as well.
I saw a post that included about a dozen images of purple kitchen tools and gadgets. Someone mentioned Laurie Brown, founder of Aunt Laurie’s in Bluffton. Come to think of it, every time I see Laurie, she’s dressed in all purple.
She reminds me of another friend, Maxine Uttal of Hilton Head Island, whom I’ve known for at least 20 years. Every time I’ve ever seen Max in all those years, she has been decked out in purple from head to toe – from earrings to shoes. Even her scary Halloween costumes are purple. Her dogs have purple collars.
You get the picture. These two ladies love purple. And they have been on trend for 2018 long before the Pantone Color Institute bestowed the honor upon 18-3838 Ultra Violet.
Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, said the choice for color of the year is much more than what is “trending”: “It’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today.”
Perhaps she’s right. Heaven knows we could stand some “originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.”