Pantone have recently announced their colour of the year for 2020 : Classic Blue.
This is a stark departure from the sophisticated and optimistic ‘Living Coral’ of 2019. Pantone’s choice of colour for 2020 marks a shift towards introspection and reflection. The start of this new decade coincides with a time of heightened uncertainty and change, with the Climate crisis mounting, political tensions increasing in the Middle East, the unpredictability of the US President, economic uncertainty for international trade thanks to factors including Brexit, US-China trade relations…so Pantone’s colour choice seems an apt expression of our need to pause and consider consequences before hurtling headlong into any rash actions.
Classic Blue is also symbolic of conservatism, a turning away from disruptive or radical change. Pantone’s team choose a colour to reflect trends and sentiment in culture and society – so perhaps they are expressing a broader fatigue with the ‘hustle’ culture of ‘move fast and break things’ that typified the last decade – the ‘always on, 24/7, faster, higher, bigger’ myth-like cult of big tech disruptors. The last decade ended with a wave of protests worldwide on inequality, environment, democracy, calling on all of us to think about what really matters, both today and for our future generations.
While Dezeen suggests Pantone have missed the mark in going for a blue, rather than a more ecological-mood green – I disagree. Classic Blue encompasses the sentiments underlying our increased focus on critical environmental matters, but ensures we don’t exclude the other uncertainties defining the landscape for 2020.
This is a lot to put on a colour, but there is no disputing that colour has a powerful impact on our mood, wellbeing, and psychology, and Pantone’s choice for 2020 seems entirely appropriate for this time.
From an aesthetic perspective, Classic Blue is a super easy colour to work with. In terms of fashion, it is a colour that just about anyone can wear. and
Here are some great ways to wear it: pairing it with corals, orange or red creates a stunning effect.
Think Peacock: Using jewel-like colours such as emerald or amethyst also works beautifully, reminiscent of peacock feathers.
Metallics such as copper, bronze or rose gold all help ensure that Classic Blue stays far from boring.
Layering textures is another way to make this colour sumptuous and a great way to pull off the monochrome look.