How the Fashion Industry Reacts to Pantone’s Color of the Year?
Certain eras always seem to have color pallets picked just for them. The ’70s had faded autumn colors, with avocado green. The ’80s had vibrant neons ranging from pink to cyan. Now imagine if you could distill an entire year down to a single color. That is what the Pantone color of the year attempts to do.
Looking at the year to come, Pantone tries to summarize what the zeitgeist - the cultural climate - will be. In 2020, the Pantone Color of the year is Classic Blue. Take a look at the infographic below to see how Classic Blue will be incorporated in the upcoming year.
The History Of Pantone
Pantone started as part of a commercial printing company founded by brothers Morris and Jesse Levine - M & J Levine Advertising. They hired Lawrence Herbert, a recent Hofstra University graduate. Herbert created a system of organization for their pigments and inks, helping their ink and printing department to draw a profit even as the commercial-display was in debt.
Herbert decided to break off from the advertising firm. He purchased the technological assets and formed Pantone for $90K - almost $6 million in today’s money!
Since that time, Pantone has been at the forefront of the color organization ever since. Using a unique Color Matching System, Pantone is THE standard for colors and color recreation, utilized throughout numerous industries.
Companies have used Pantone’s color matching system to stay consistent across all of their endeavors. Coca-cola has its distinctive red; Skype has a sky blue, and even Minion yellow! These and so many other companies have their specific colors established and trademarked for usage.
These companies have a vast array of needs for their colors from t-shirts, plastics, even down to foods.
But if you print the same color on three different materials - plastic bottles, wood, and glass, for instance - you’d probably end up with three different colors. It’s hard to predict how the paint will react to different processes and base materials.
Pantone’s system of organization has made it possible for companies to have a standard to adhere to. To keep their colors pure and consistent no matter where their branding appears.
Pantone's Color Of The Year
Since 2000, Pantone has gathered color consultants and professionals from around the world, to predict the color that will best encompass the mood of the year.
Pantone's first color of the year back in 2000: Cerulean. In 1999, when they announced cerulean as their color of the year for 2000, it was just before the 'Y2K bug fears and excitement at growing technologies. Cerulean captured the emotion and expectation of the future that they saw in the world.
Since then, they've published a prediction every year. Looking forward to the next year, and examining predictions from every industry and country, they predict what color will encompass the entirety of the year to come.
They have grown a holistic method of examining color. Going beyond simple color theory, Pantone examines how different colors are used throughout industries and cultures, what the colors are named, and how they are made.
Color Prediction has become a massive industry, considering how strongly a color can establish a brand.
Even Minion yellow was created under Pantone's advisement.
How The Color Of The Year And Fashion Work Together
This year Pantone predicts that 2020 will be best represented by 'classic blue,' a dusky shade of navy. Classic blue is a color which, according to Pantone VP Laurie Pressman, "anticipates what's going to happen next. What's the future going to bring as we move into the evening hours?"
Before they settled on classic blue, Pantone sent color experts to New York Fashion Week. While there, these experts tracked and ranked the top 12 colors that were most common and visible on the catwalk. From there, they narrowed down which color was most relevant to the current time.
These colors can come from anywhere and everywhere. “The color of the year selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis…” They examine everything from film and traveling art collections, all the way to lifestyles and travel destinations. This holistic approach, combined with their connections to color experts, gives them a powerful perspective on the color of the year.
If you’ve seen The Devil Wears Prada, you may be familiar with the ways that color will dominate the fashion industry, and then trickle down to everyday consumers. Though the monologue has no basis in reality (Yves St Laurent never did Cerulean Military Jackets), it does cover a very real way that color can quickly make its way to the bargain bin.
“[...] I think it was Yves St Laurent, wasn’t it, who showed cerulean military jackets? And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores…” She espouses.
But considering the way these colors circulate and are rediscovered, whos to say that Pantone isn’t the one at the forefront of color prediction?
Since 2000, industries have grown more attentive to the excitement around the color of the year. Thanks to this, Pantone has expanded its collection of consultants. They are now practically deciding the color of the year, rather than just predicting it.
Nowadays, more and more companies are trying to get into the predicting business. Many of the top-rated paint producers are creating their predictions for the color of the year. They try to integrate the color of the year into their home designs and push for consumers to do so as well.
For instance, Sherwin-Williams has decided the color of the year for 2020 is Naval, and they’ve pushed their designs to go along with that color.
Pantone has pushed their unveilings to show how their inspiration comes from many places, and our inspiration should go to many places. Their party featured blue food, a ‘blue scent,’ and more.
Pantone believes that color is more than just a decoration. Color is a language, one that speaks to the emotional state of the world as well as the individual. They seem to believe they have their finger on the pulse of the world.
Classic Blue is stability, but it is full of expectations. How will you live up to these expectations? And how will you live your best blue 2020?