Color of the Year 2020

Color of the Year 2020

Pantone Color Institute has been announcing a Color of the Year for over 20 years.  Their Color of the Year (COTY) has been known to influence product development and purchasing decisions in many industries, including fashion, home furnishings, industrial design, product packaging and even graphic design. Pantone announced Classic Blue as 2020's Color of the Year last Wednesday.  Ever since, it has left design professionals questioning if they have missed the mark yet again (like last year's Living Coral)

Patone Color of the Year 2020- Classic Blue

Thoughts Behind Blue

As we enter a new era, in admits turmoil, Pantone thinks Classic Blue 19-4052 will be able to fulfill our desire for calm, simplicity, while being a dependable, stable foundation to which to build upon. (You can read more about that here). Classic Blue is a deep shade that tends to be comforting, and relatable. This is probably because the hue brings to mind life's constants, like the sky at dusk, our great serene waters, a beautiful tailored suit or a delicious bowl of blueberries. 

Patone Color of the Year 2020 quote from Executive Director


Sherwin Williams seemed to have agreed with Pantone, and sought a color that is known to "calm and ground the environment with quiet confidence." They too named a blue as their Color of the Year 2020; Naval SW 6244 to be precise.
But, did they miss the mark? 

Some designers are saying Pantone played it safe, with blue being one of the Western world's favorite colors. Especially since all dominate narratives have been pointing towards green as the COTY- coming from color companies and trend forecasters like Dulux, WGSN and Behr paints. In fact, Behr announced their 2020 Color of the Year: Back to Nature S340-4. Back to Nature is a beautiful light green. Green represents our ecological story, which is at that top of our cultural agenda right now.  It too, reassures us on a primal level and speaks of optimism and growth.  

Behr wanted to, "embrace the spirit of discovery," in the new decade. Erika Woelfel, Behr's VP of Color and Creative Services describes the color as, "calm, gracious and balanced," all things we need at the start of a new decade. Woelfel and Behr want us to bring the outside in, saying "Getting out there in nature also is known to have a huge impact, a positive impact, on our health and wellbeing," and "It has been shown to improve creativity, boost memory, improve your problem-solving skills."   


Predicting Kitchen Trends 

We all know trends go in cycles, bleeding from one into the next.  Recent trends had gray as the front runner for quite some time.  Lately, that has slowly moved towards 'greige,' a gray/beige color that brings warmth back to the base of the color.  Studying most pinned Pinterst photos, HOUZZ saves, magazines, and manufacturer's newest color and product announcements, I see hints of Earthy colors making it's return into today's kitchen desires; Which goes especially well with the new love for brushed brass and matte black finishes. 

 green farmhouse kitchen     

Tug of Love Between Green and Blue

Pantone was not alone in their decision this year. Besides Sherwin Williams, PPG Paints also chose 'Chinese Poreclain' as their COTY, which as you may have guessed is a blue. Dee Schlotter, senior color manager at PPG explained, "The need for simplicity and escapism from technology is in part, the reason that consumers are craving blues...that brings us closer to natural elements such as the sea and sky."  However, I'd like to argue that in an era of anxious confusion, where rage and rebellion have become the action of choice, it's not the time to support escapism. It's time to get real; to get grounded. In the tug of love between green and blue, I'm on the side of planting our feet firmly on the ground, keeping our heads out of the clouds. Undoubtedly, storms are ahead. Where would you rather be? 

I'd love to know your thoughts on these predicted color trends. Who do you think is right? What color have you been seeing more of? Comment below! 

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