The Color of the Year:

Why Does It Matter?

Jan 12, 2018

PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet. By now, this particular combination of words and digits may look surprisingly familiar to many. Following global color authority Pantone Color Institute’s announcement of the color of the year for 2018, Ultra Violet and a collage of images with the magical hue have dotted no shortage of fashion blogs and social media pages.


The enthusiasm behind Pantone’s annual pick, reflected in media coverage and a multitude of product ensembles thrown together by all kinds of industries, suggests there’s a greater appetite for learning about color trends and a growing sense of curiosity about how to incorporate them into our daily lives.


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What Is the “Color of the Year”?


It has been nearly two decades since Pantone started announcing its color of the year. Some of the past hues thrown into the spotlight include True Red, Mimosa, Tangerine Tango, and Greenery. With its annual tradition, Pantone has managed to carve out a unique moment in the world of design, fashion, and other industries during which something as seemingly simple as color takes center stage.


But why does the world sit up and listen? Much of it has to do with Pantone’s irrefutable status as a global leader in developing standardized alphanumeric codes for specific colors. This has allowed parties at one end of the phone to understand exactly what those at the other end are requesting, without having to wade through a sea of vague descriptions, such as “deeper,” “darker,” and “warmer,” which are impossible to decipher.


2_1Pantone Color Matching System by StickerGiant Custom Stickers is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Colours by Rocco Lucia is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Pantone explains its insight comes from its color experts, who analyze leading indicators, ranging from the simplest elements such as food and drinks to the more complex components of art, fashion, and technology. The color institute also says there is something to be said about “the mood of the people,” meaning there’s a particular ambiance that surrounds the public at any given time period, which can in turn be represented by a specific color.



Evolving Tastes


Analysis of this mood is what led to the birth of Ultra Violet as Pantone’s color of 2018. This hue, the institute explained, delivers a sense of “originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking.” Pantone also refers to the color as a symbol of “counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance,” embraced by the likes of pop icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix.


But using color as a means of self-expression is not limited to such creative minds. People have for long used specific hues, shades, tones, and tints to convey their mood or sentiment through an expansive list of everyday objects not limited to clothes and accessories.


The Pantone Color Institute believes that when it comes to fashion people no longer want their palette of color to be confined by conventional guidelines. This is why in its Spring 2018 Fashion Color Trend Report it included 12 callout colors in addition to four traditional favorites. “Untypical spring shades that make for complex and original combinations expand the opportunity for self-expression and communicate the consumer desire to experiment with color all year round,” it explained.


In short, people’s tastes in color are continually evolving.


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The Power of Color


To meet this ever-changing demand for better tools of expression, industries are also constantly on the move.


One of the sectors where the force of this trend is felt most acutely is fashion. From high-end brands to labels that respond to consumers’ rapidly developing needs, you’ll constantly see the buzziest colors announcing their presence.


For example, you can find a vast array of goods available in the enigmatic hue of Ultra Violet among brands under Samsung C&T Fashion Group. From bags to pants, sweaters, and even phone accessories, there are countless products to choose from.


If you want to fully embrace the color of the year, consider picking out solid-color sweaters or pants and pairing them with simpler colors. But that’s not the only way to add a touch of creativity to your outfit. There are plenty of other patterned items that offer a more subtle but engaging look. You can explore more options at SSF Shop, which provides a snapshot of the bevy of Ultra Violet items available just in the realm of fashion.


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17FW (Women) Cashmere Blend Turtle Neck Slim Knit Pullover – Purple
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17FW (Women) Cashmere Blend Turtle Neck Slim Knit Pullover – Purple
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17FW Lettering Loose Fit Sweatshirt - Violet
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17FW Lettering Loose Fit Sweatshirt - Violet
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17FW [Replain X Beaker] Wool Blend Knit Straight Pants – Purple
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17FW [CELEBs PICK] Lettering Sweatshirt – Violet
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17FW [CELEBs PICK] Lettering Sweatshirt – Violet

Picture #1-#7 Source: SSF Shop


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[Eyeye] Mermaid Check Skirt - Purple (EEOE4SKR03W)
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[BLANK] Pleats Mini Dress – Purple
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[8SECONDS] 17FW Color Block Half Sleeve Knit Pullover – Violet
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[BEANPOLE GOLF] 17FW [THE OPEN] Contrasted Point Half Zip Up T-shirt – Violet (Women)
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[BEANPOLE GOLF] 17FW [THE OPEN] Padding Curot – Violet (Women)

Picture #1-#6 Source: SSF Shop


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[FIBRENO] Cosmetic Clutch – 18 Purple
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[BEANPOLE LADIES] 17FW Wide Band Shoulder Bag – Purple
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[8SECONDS] 17FW Basic Rib Beanie – Violet
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[8SECONDS] 17SS Minimal Tote Bag - Violet
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Picture #1-#6 Source: SSF Shop


But the power of color spills over into a much wider space that encompasses cosmetics, interior design, furniture, stationery and much more. As the weight given to color continues to grow, this area is expected to expand even further.





More Traces of Color


It’s hard to imagine a world in which color has no place. Every aspect of life is touched by it, and it’s the most natural way most people experience their surroundings each day. That said, keeping up with color trends does not mean swapping out your entire wardrobe with the new hue in demand. It simply means having more options and channels of expression at your fingertips.