It is a sort of gamble when it comes to guessing the next color of the year. This time around, speculating the Pantone Color of the Year 2020 appeared particularly tricky. As we are getting ready to shut the lights in 2019, we will start not only a new year but will step into a new decade.
However, after several talks about what could be the color chosen with the team, we were not surprised when Classic Blue was announced the Color of the Year 2020. Why? Classis Blue is a color that resonates with the current challenges we face today as a society.
HOW BLUE AFFECTS US
First of all, Classic Blue is a timeless color. A reassuring hue in ever-changing times when we are not sure about anything. This color represents the desire for stability, indispensable when stepping into a new decade of social and political turmoil and severe environmental challenges, to name a few.
Blue speaks of trust and seriousness (there is a good reason why specific job titles wear blue suits), and the BUY NOW button is blue because it’s proved to perform much better than in any other color.
Blue-light is also the only one perceived by anyone; even non-sighted people posse a particular receptor for this type of light, highly concentrated during the early day. We need this blue-light receptor to set our circadian rhythm; in other words, our inner clock that helps us to stay awake during the day and sleep at night. No doubt about why this color feels so natural connected to us, we need it to regulate one of the primary systems of our life circle.
WHAT IS THE ASSOCIATION WITH BLUE?
Classic Blue is a hue that reminds us of the clear blue skies; it is associated with stable weather, tranquility, and a serene feeling. This hue is intensively present in nature; it is not only the color we see the sky, but it is also the color of lakes, rivers, oceans, and how we see the Earth from the space. Water at least covers 71% of the Earth.
Today, water is at the center of several topics related to sustainability; water pollution, water scarcity, the level of the sea rising, floating plastics in oceans are on the public and political agenda. That’s another reason for Blue to be relevant now. The media and environmental movements are continually reminding us of the presence of plastic in the oceans. How to shift the economies connected to plastic production and consumption is one of the most compelling issues today. Blue is just everywhere now.
“We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by PANTONE 10-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on. Imbued with a deep resonance, Classic Blue provides an anchoring foundation. A boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky. Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking, challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective, and open the flow of communication.“
-Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of The Pantone Color Institute-
BLUE IN HISTORY
Blue is a primary color used in art and decoration since ancient times:
in Europe, people wore blue color clothing, using a vegetable dye produced from the leave of a plant called woad. Indigo, coming from America, eventually started to be used by artists and designers, also on porcelain. However this specific hue of blue was first stumbled upon along the Silk Road in the form of the semi-precious stone lapis azuli. These stones first reached Syria, then on ships arrived in Venice and from there spread through Europe rapidly becoming the prominent hue of blue in use.
Italian started to used this ultramarine blue as their first choice, as the color was arriving through Venice, so the price was still relatively lower there. But artists from Northen Europe could pay this color a hundred times more than other blues. The reason for considering this blue so much precious was that other blues pigment came tinged with a sort of green, while the lapiz azuri was extraordinary long-lasting.
If you ask me, after the polemic confirmation and critics of Living Coral last year, Classic Blue sounds like a safe choice, no matter how much society needs that color or not. After all, Blue is the most popular color in Color Psychology, most likely to be celebrated by media too. Classic Blue is a natural, relatable color, used cross-industries, and a no-brainer. Though I’m a big fan of Blue, this particular shade feels a bit too classic (in other words, risk-free) to me.
If you don’t remember which color was in the spotlight before Classic Blue, and love to catch up, continue reading here!