What is the Pantone Colour Of The Year – And Why Does It Matter?

Established in 1963, Pantone is known for its colour-matching system originally developed to identity, standardise and match colours in the print and textile industries. 

Now Pantone are considered the global authority on colour, with their annual ‘Colour of the Year’ announcement eagerly anticipated by designers, marketers, and brands worldwide. The announcement declares which hue (or hues) which will set the tone for the upcoming year, and it’s become increasingly influential on all aspects of colour design and trends in fashion, home décor, product development and packaging.

The decision-making process is a guarded one, with the institutes experts conducting trend-forecasting research and meeting in secret to discuss the contending colours. Ultimately, the goal of the selection is to capture the mood of the moment, while signalling trends of the future.

2022 – The Year of ‘Very peri’

Last week we predicted a bright, punchy shade would take centre stage in 2022. After the relatively muted pairing of ‘Illuminating’ yellow and ‘Elemental Grey’ last year, we felt a sense of renewed optimism and creativity would be reflected in this years choice. And we were right – Pantone revealed a playful periwinkle, ‘Very Peri’, as the chosen colour for 2022.

“Very Peri is a symbol of the global zeitgeist of the moment and the transition we are going through … [it] displays a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages courageous creativity and imaginative expression.” the brand explains.

So what does this mean for product development? While the announcement is by no means a mandate (we don’t suggest rushing to rebrand your whole product line!) there’s something to be said for utilising colour trend research in your business. You might consider incorporating an accent of Very Peri into a new colourway, or experimenting with the shade in your digital marketing strategy.

Designer’s Insight

We spoke to one of our Industrial Designers, Dee, to hear her impressions of the Colour of the Year.

Q. What do you think of the choice, was it what you expected?

“Yes and no. There were two undercurrents that I knew would shape this year’s decision; one representing the stability we crave after a tumultuous year, and the other being a yearning for something playful and optimistic. I was surprised to see they took both into consideration and ran with it. Purple can be quite polarising, but I feel Very Peri will translate especially well into digital mediums. They’ve really considered our increasingly virtual landscape.”

Q. Does Pantone dictate, or anticipate, colour trends?

“Both. They’re a team of trend-focused specialists who live and breathe colour. When reading their coverage of New York and London Fashion week’s, it’s clear they have their finger on the pulse and consider the different mediums in which colour impacts us as a society. They also champion up-and-coming designers and artists on social media. It gives you a sense that they’re listening to the masses and how they want to express themselves. That plethora of information gets channelled into trend reports (and Colours of the Year) that we as designers lean on when selecting colours, materials and finishes.”

Q. How will this choice will impact your decisions as a designer?

“We often try to breathe fresh air into our designs by incorporating colour, but this is most successful when done with consideration and purpose. Some Colour of the Year alumni like Rose Quartz (Millennial Pink) and Living Coral have taken the world by storm and had a lasting effect on our product colour decisions. Ultimately, colour decisions come down to what’s appropriate for the client, project and end user. In saying that, I would love to see a minimal product with a Very Peri satin finish silicone detail. It would be so playful and plush you couldn’t help but pick it up and touch it.”

Want to use this dynamic shade in your next product idea?

Give us a call on +61 3 9561 5810 on email us now. We’re award-winning global product design and development specialists and have developed more than 350 products since 2012. From concept to creation, from production to profit, we create commercially viable and technically feasible solutions, ready for manufacture. We work on small to large projects with a specific focus on technical and challenging product development.