The 2020 Pantone Colour of the year has recently been announced. Classic Blue (of Pantone 19-2052) is the colour that will dominate, and possibly shape our year. But what does this mean? And why does this matter?

Pantone is a company based in the USA and founded in the 1950’s. They are best known for their “Pantone Matching System”, which is a standardised catalogue of colours that different manufacturers in various locations can refer to in order to make sure that they match without the need for direct contact. This system is used across a variety of industries, including fashion, printing and graphic design.

Since 2000 the Pantone Colour Institute has announced a “Colour of the Year”. Proclaimed experts “comb the world looking for new colour influences”.  This can be for film releases, art or fashion trends – even drawing on the changing lifestyles, culture and socio-economic conditions of society.

Colour of the Year attempts to forecast trends of the coming year, helping companies with their “brand visual identity”. More often than not it sparks the trend itself, with the Classic Blue reportedly already being used in fashion, interior and graphic design.

Not only does Pantone attempt to reflect society in its choices, it also looks to help change the atmosphere and attitudes of people today.

According to Pantone, many of us feel anxious, “completely overloaded and perpetually stressed” and so Classic Blue has been chosen as a strong and steady shade to provide a “dependable foundation” for today’s society.

Surrounding yourself with Classic Blue brings “peace and tranquillity” as well as “aiding concentration and bringing laser like clarity” and helps to calm the individual.

Colour of the Year also provides a great marketing tool, not just for Pantone themselves, but for many other businesses. Whilst “Colour of the Year” may sound unassuming and only interesting to artists, it can also work as an ad campaign for businesses to get exposure, be on trend and sell more products.

Blue is a common choice for Pantone, with the very first colour of the year in 2000 being Cerulean. 2016 was the most recent winner for the colour blue as Serenity took joint top spot, sharing its crown with pink Rose Quartz. Classic Blue can be seen in a Pepsi can, blueberries and the sky at dusk. Its a contrast to last years bright and playful Living Coral.

We will see what the year holds for design and whether it will pop up anywhere else.