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Pantone declares 2020 the year of Classic Blue

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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American colour authority Pantone has chosen “solid and dependable” Classic Blue as its colour of the year for 2020, as it is a colour that offers a “reassuring presence instilling calm, confidence, and connection”.

This isn’t the first time blue has been chosen as colour of the year, in 2000, Cerulean described as the hue of the sky on a serene, crystal clear day was declared the colour of the millennium, this was then followed up with a “quiet blue” Aqua Sky in 2003, and a Blue Turquoise in 2005, it was Blue Iris, which was closer to purple. The last blue to be offered was Serenity, a cooler tranquil blue that shared the 2016 title with Rose Quartz.

Unlike in previous years, the 2020 Classic Blue is a darker, elegant, more traditional blue that “brings a sense of peace and tranquillity to the human spirit, offering refuge,” which evokes the sky at dusk, blueberries and even the classic Pepsi can and Pantone adds is a “universal favourite”.

“We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute in a release. “Imbued with a deep resonance, Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue provides an anchoring foundation. A boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky, Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication.”

Pantone names Classic Blue 2020 colour of the year

This also marks the first time that Pantone has tapped into sight, sound, smell, taste and texture in its selection, with the reflective blue tone, Classic Blue being named the company’s official multi-sensory colour of the year, as it is a hue that is “non-aggressive,” “easily relatable” and “honest”.

Pantone has collaborated with a number of sensory experts from the worlds of music, food, fashion, beauty and technology to envision Classic Blue as a sound, a smell, a taste, and a feeling, with the aim of inspiring creatives and consumers to think about colour differently, and to “create new experiences that speak to people’s hearts as well as their minds” as it looks to reach a greater diversity of people.

This includes the release of a Classic Blue inspired electro-pop track ‘Vivid Nostalgia’ that aims to take people to a “place of comfort and familiarity,” a fruity sweet berry fragrance that showcases the essence of taste and smell of the colour, while a custom velvety fabric emphasis the touch of the colour and will be available for home furnishings, and Tealeaves have created a tea blend that is “wellness-oriented, elegant, and an expansive berry mélange with subtle citrus notes”.

Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, added: “The Pantone Color of the Year highlights the relationship between trends in colour and what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time, a colour that reflects what individuals feel they need that colour can hope to answer.

“As society continues to recognise colour as a critical form of communication, and a way to express and affect ideas and emotions, designers and brands should feel inspired to use colour to engage and connect. The Pantone Color of the Year selection provides strategic direction for the world of trend and design, reflecting the Pantone Color Institute’s year-round work doing the same for designers and brands.”

Pantone’s Classic Blue in fashion, beauty and in home décor

Pantone describes their new colour of the year as a “poised and self-assured” blue hue that derives its elegance from its simplicity, adding that it is a colour that fashion designers and brands can take on different appearances through application to different materials, finishes and textures from shimmering metallics, lustrous sheens and high-tech materials to handcrafted looks and more fragile fabrics.

“Genderless in outlook and seasonless in endurance, this foundational anchor shade enables colour mixes throughout the spectrum, as well as making a strong statement on its own,” added Pantone.

In beauty, Pantone expects the Classic Blue to be used as a display of personal expression, as it is a colour that can offer a “dramatic statement” on eyes, nails and hair in a variety of finishes from glittery and glam to dusty matte.

For interiors, Pantone states that Classic Blue is a “pervasive favourite” for the home as it offers a “promise of protection” creating a stable foundation from which to build, while also injecting “creative confidence” through unique colour combinations and tonal statements.

Pressman, added: “As we all head into a new era, we wanted to challenge ourselves to find inspiration from new sources that not only evolve our Color of the Year platform, but also help our global audiences achieve richer and more rewarding colour experiences.

“This desire, combined with the emotional properties of Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue, motivated us to expand beyond the visual, to bring the 2020 Pantone Color of the Year to life through a multi-sensory experience.”

Classic Blue offers a stark contrast to 2019’s colour of the year, a peachy ‘Living Coral’ hue that was chosen for its “animating and life-affirming” qualities, while in 2018 it was a vibrant purple ‘Ultraviolet’, and in 2017, a zesty shade of green called ‘Greenery’ was selected to evoke the first days of spring.

Homepage image: Salvatore Ferragamo SS20, © Catwalkpictures.com. Others courtesy of Pantone

Classic Blue