Living Coral Is Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year

It's a real switch from 2018's Ultra Violet hue

Pantone pointed to Airbnb and Apple's use of coral over the past few months as a sign of the color's domination.
Say so long to millennial pink. Another pink-tinted hue is set to take over in 2019—according to Pantone, at least.

The company announced today that Living Coral, a bright coral shade, is its 2019 Color of the Year. Although it may seem more pink in nature, Pantone describes Living Coral as “an animated, life-affirming shade of orange, with golden undertones.” This year’s color was Ultra Violet, a deep purple hue. (Despite its ubiquitous nature, millennial pink has never actually been a Pantone color of the year—Pantone doesn’t actually have a hue named millennial pink!)

The decision of what will be the next year’s Color of the Year is up to the Pantone Color Institute, Pantone’s consulting division that analyzes each year’s color trends. In particular, they pay attention to those that have appeared in branding efforts. Pantone pointed to Airbnb and Apple’s use of coral over the past few months as a sign of the color’s domination.

“A global team of color experts comb the world looking for new color influences,” said Laurie Pressman, vp of the Pantone Color Institute. “This can include the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, playstyles and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures and effects that impact color, relevant social media platforms and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.”


Pantone also cited Living Coral as a color of carefree happiness. A press release says it “symbolizes our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits”—a feeling that, perhaps, people might be craving in today’s landscape.

“Color enhances and influences the way we experience life,” said Pressman. “As a shade that affirms life through a dual role of energizing and nourishing, Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral reinforces how colors can embody our collective experience and reflect what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time.”


To celebrate this year’s announcement, Pantone teamed up with Tribute Portfolio, a new brand of independent hotels from Marriott, to create a pop-up activation this week: Pantone Pantry by Tribute Portfolio at Art Basel Miami.

The installation will reportedly reimagine the “traditional hotel experience,” featuring pops of Living Coral at a replica of the concierge desk and a hotel room. It will also feature custom animations created by artistic partners like Sia and Diplo. After the conclusion of Art Basel Miami, the installation will travel to Savannah, Georgia, and Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Pantone also partnered with global materials and innovation consultancy Material ConneXion, as well as Adobe Stock, to bring Living Coral to creatives and designers. With Adobe Stock, they curated a group of Living Coral-colored images available for creative use for Adobe Stock customers; with Material ConneXion, they’ve worked to make it easier for suppliers and designers to source Living Coral in product design.

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