It’s an interior design moment we wait for all year, the Pantone Color of the Year. This is the defining hue that takes its cues from the year behind us and attempts to set the tone for the year ahead.
This year, the color experts at Pantone followed up on 2017’s Greenery by selecting a hue that’s as unexpected as it is refreshing: Ultra Violet. The Pantone 18-3838, is a complex, celestial shade of purple, veering toward the cooler end of the color spectrum, that calls to mind the vastness of the galaxy, the power of spirituality, and creative expression in all its forms.
Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.
Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.
“The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today.” – Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute.
Ultra Violet in Home Décor
In interiors, Ultra Violet can transform a room into one of extraordinary self-expression, or conversely, its polish can tone down a room with subdued, modern pairings. Adding spice and brightness, Ultra Violet calls attention to a tufted couch, a piece of art or accent wall. As a color that can take you in so many directions.
Ultra Violet makes a statement in any space, whether it’s one of tradition and elegance or unexpected boldness. In hospitality, we are seeing purples like Ultra Violet take center stage in interior design as large and small hotels harness color and design to entice travelers and stay relevant.
Ultra Violet in Fashion
On the runway or the streets, Ultra Violet is an enchanting purple that provides a theatrical linkage for both men’s and women’s styles. True to the coupled nature of Ultra Violet, created by combining red and blue, Ultra Violet lends itself to unique color combinations in fashion and is easier to pair with all colors on the spectrum than one might think. With golds or other metallics, Ultra Violet becomes luxurious and dazzling color trend; with greens or greys, it evokes natural elegance.
Similarly, Ultra Violet takes on distinct appearances with different materials. Lush velvets in the color suggest intrigue for the evening but are also unexpectedly modern in athleisure or sneakers. In accessories, jewelry, and eyewear, Ultra Violet suggests the complexities of natural gems, textures, and florals.
Ultra Violet in Beauty
Ultra Violet becomes spell-binding and steeped in spirituality in beauty to create expressive looks for all. The complex and deep nature of the color is well-suited for beauty looks created by combinations, blends, and ombres.
A singular matte purple on the lips or nails makes a bold statement of non-conformity, while softly blended metallics and shimmers in Ultra Violet transform the eyes into windows to the cosmos. Purple hair continues to elevate street styles as a symbol of creative expression. On the palette of every beauty medium, Ultra Violet complements and emboldens every other color, adding complexity and mystery.
Ultra Violet in Graphic Design and Packaging
As packaging design becomes more sophisticated, Ultra Violet offers complexity and nuance that appeals to our desire for originality in all that we touch. Similarly, in graphic design, Ultra Violet resonates with this dynamic medium through its multi-dimensional feeling. Shades of Ultra Violet are increasingly used in packaging and graphic design by forward-looking brands in the CPG, luxury, and beauty worlds as well as by personalities and artists seeking to stand out.
Written by Jorge Mandim