Ultra Violet has been named Pantone’s official color of 2018. While having a “color of the year” may seem pretentious and irrelevant, a lengthy process is used in order to decide on what color will be chosen.
Since 2000, the Pantone Color Institute has decided on a specific “Color of the Year.” A group of color experts from around the world gather twice a year to discuss the possible colors of the following year. The chosen color connects with what is the spirit of the world at the time of the decision. Pantone said having a Color of the Year gives designers and brands direction regarding trends and designs.
Pantone believes that color "has always been an integral part of how a culture expresses the attitudes and emotions of the times.”
“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,” said Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute, on Pantone’s website.
Ultra Violet “symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.” It is also described as “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade," Pantone says, one that "communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us towards the future."
Some of the more timely and worldly justifications for the color have included both politics and nature.
Since Democrats and Republicans are typically represented by the color blue and red, respectively, it is thought that this shade of purple represents the uncertain affiliations in this age of politics.
Purple is also the color wildfire experts use to describe the worst possible fire risk level. In Southern California, specifically Los Angeles, the fire risk has been purple many weeks this year.
Apart from these more ominous associations of the color, it is also said to represent the meditative power of late singers Prince and Jimi Hendrix.
Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of The Pantone Color Institute, described this year’s choice of Ultra Violet as “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.”