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All The Fuss About Living Coral

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By Dom Galeon

It goes by a more technical name, at least according to the Pantone Color Institute. Pantone 16-1546, also called Living Coral, has been named color of the year for 2019 by the color gurus at Pantone, color experts who have been pairing the year with a singular shade of color for more than two decades now.

So before you see more of this color in fashion brands and ads and other consumer goods, here are five things you may not know about 2019’s color of the year.

Keds Mini Brights

Keds Mini Brights

It’s natural

The power of color is undeniable. Every shade can evoke particular feelings and emotions, and more so for colors that are found in nature. Believe it or not, Living Coral is one such color. Its vibrant, bright, and cheerful feel is something that can be found in living creatures, actual corals included. This color “emits the desired, familiar, and energizing aspects of color found in nature. In its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, this vivifying and effervescent color mesmerizes the eye and mind,” declares Pantone.

Not pink

No. Living Coral is not pink nor is it a shade of it, so we’re not really going back to millennial pink. Pantone describes it as “an animated, life-affirming shade of orange, with golden undertones.” So golden orange is more like it. “Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity,” Pantone continues. “Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, it embodies our desire for playful expression.”

Merell Solo AC

Merell Solo AC

Not a new color

Living Coral may be the color of the new year, but this distinct shade of orange isn’t new. It’s been popping up in ‘50s and ‘60s fashion lines and in advertising materials, as well as in cars and even restaurant décor. As Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, puts it, Living Coral has a distinct retro feel.

The color of the environment

Pantone further describes Living Coral as a color that “embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our shifting environment.” True enough, at a time when the environment needs attention and care, this year’s choice for color of the year serves as a bright reminder. “Lying at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color,” according to Pantone.

Pantone Living Coral Mug Box

Pantone Living Coral Mug Box

A timely choice

In choosing a color of the year, the color institute wasn’t being arbitrary. Quite the opposite. There’s a deep reason as to why Living Coral has been presented as 2019’s hue. “We are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy,” Pantone declares, explaining that Living Coral was a reaction to the rise of digital technology and social media increasingly becoming part of daily life. True enough, Living Coral looks super-saturated on computer screens and mobile devices, it also exists in nature. “With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed in Living Coral hit a responsive chord,” writes Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman.

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