Last week, Pantone announced their Colour of the Year 2018. In previous years we’ve had Marsala (2015), Rose Quartz/Serenity (2016) and Greenery (2017), but never before have we seen a colour cause such a hoo-ha. Let us introduce you to 18-3838 Ultra Violet

Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute says “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.”. 

So why has this purple hue been picked? Ultra Violet apparently suggests “the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now.” It takes inspiration from mystical & spiritual elements, the night sky and a “world beyond our own”.

If that wasn’t enough, it’s also harking back to rock stars such as Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix who used this purple colourway as an expression of individuality.

Laurie also comments “We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level. From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.” 

So why is the Dairy Milk coloured decision not leaving a sweet taste? We put it to Instagram to get some thoughts…

“It’s very 2005 “Argos colour match”” says @borealabode and “Very Changing Rooms circa year 2000” comment the guys at @arrow_publicity. Stylist, @rory_stylist thinks that it’s a tricky colour to get right and interior designer, @phoebeoldrey is keeping optimistic; “My gut says nooooooo but like all ‘trends’ and colours of the year maybe something will come along and convince me otherwise”.

There are a couple of lovers however. @raspbery_flavoured_windows says it’s her favourite from the last three years and @ursela_rattan made the Purple Rain connection saying that, for her, it invokes memories of the late pocket-sized artist.

Perhaps Ultra Violet will work better in the fashion world, however for us we can’t see it making waves in interiors. Of course, like most, we’re happy to be proven wrong and maybe used in small amounts in dark, brooding schemes, it could work, but this colour purple hasn’t gone ‘beyond’ as the Ultra Violet name suggests. Instead, it seems that in a world where trends come back around in full circle, Ultra Violet doesn’t feel as 70s retro, nor intergalactic enough, as they suggest it should. Instead, it sits in the middle, in an uneasy feeling millennium black hole.

So if Pantone’s Laurie is right and Ultra Violet is “a reflection of what’s needed in our world today.”, then God help us. Surely our world doesn’t need any homes painted like a teenage girls bedroom.

What do you think of Ultra Violet? Leave your thoughts in a comment or join the conversation on Instagram.

From two unconvinced bloggers,
David & Mark x

One thought on “Ultra Violet: Why Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2018 Isn’t Light Years Ahead

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