Pantone Color of the Year 2019

Each year Pantone, the paint and color people, choose a color in December for the year ahead. They imbue these colors with ideas and ideals for the new year. I don't always agree with the choices but along with many in the quilting community, I like to ruminate on them a bit.

For 2019, Pantone chose Living Coral.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“Vibrant, yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.

In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.

Representing the fusion of modern life, PANTONE Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.

PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral emits the desired, familiar, and energizing aspects of color found in nature. In its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, this vivifying and effervescent color mesmerizes the eye and mind. Lying at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, PANTONE Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color.”

I may seems like a downer when it comes to Pantone’s color of the year. I started examining it and sharing my thoughts in 2016 and I’ve disagreed with the meaning or idea behind just about every color since. Serenity and Rose Quartz (2016) felt confining in it’s binary structure (at a time when we should be seeing past blue and pink), Greenery (2017) felt tone deaf in it’s optimism in nature as opposed to the world-leader’s intent to destroy it, and Ultra Violet (2018) would have made more sense if they had called it Ultra Violent (I mean, it was the year with the most mass shootings in the US so far).

I’m sure that Pantone intends these colors to be uplifting and inspiring.

But come on!! At a time when most of the world coral reefs are headed soon to destruction, when the US is actively repealing environmental safeties and sustainability, Pantone is going to say looking at an intestinal putrid pink is going to save us from the fantasies of the internet and connect with nature and the world??

But perhaps it is all in the name. If it had been called Puke or even Drink the Koolaid or Road Kill, I might have felt it was more appropriate for what we have to face in the coming year.

If this is our color of the year, let it be named Extra Strength Pepto Bismol. Pantone, help me stomach another year like the last few.


But don’t take my word for it. Here are a few articles on Living Coral

From Tree Hugger (you know I love them!)

NJ News likes it bc it’s from NJ!

I always love to read what A Quilter’s Table has to say about the Color of the Year.

Well and Good thinks Living coral is … sexy?

I really like what Thrillist says: “it's not a reflection, it's a response -- an answer”. I personally can’t seem to get that point, but I want it to be true!

What are your thoughts on Living Coral?