2010-2020 Pantone Color of the Year: A Decade through Colors | And the 2020 Pantone Color of the year is…

Since 2000, Pantone has selected a “Color of Year” to represent the coming year. According to Execute Director of Pantone Color Institute Leatrice Eiseman “color has always been an integral part of how a culture expresses the attitudes and emotions of the times.”

Following this belief, Pantone Color of The Year is is not just a design trend, but aims to represent with one shade the spirit and culture of the coming year. So far, 2016 has been the only year where two colors were chosen: at the height of the #metoo movement and the fight for gender equality, Pantone chose to celebrate gender blur by picking a blending of two shades, pastel pink and pastel blue, as their Color of the Year.

In this post, we are taking a look at their choices from the past decade to see if we can still recognize the spirit of those years through their shades.

How much have we changed through the years? What is the direction we are moving toward? And finally, what will the color for 2020 be?

2010: Pantone 15-5519 Turquoise

Combining the serene qualities of blue and the invigorating aspects of green, Turquoise inspires thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and a comforting escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of wellbeing.

Source: Pantone

2011: Pantone 18-212o Honeysuckle

“In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues”

2012: Pantone 17-1463 Tangerine Tango

Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it. Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.

Source: Pantone

2013: Pantone Emerald

“Lively. Radiant. Lush… A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.”

2014: Pantone 18-3224 Radiant Orchid

 “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

2015: PANTONE 18-1438, Marsala

Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us into its embracing warmth

Source: Pantone


In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design. This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer’s increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage.

Source: Pantone

2017: PANTONE 15-0343 GREENERY

Greenery is nature’s neutral. The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world. This shift is reflected by the proliferation of all things expressive of Greenery in daily lives through urban planning, architecture, lifestyle and design choices globally. A constant on the periphery, Greenery is now being pulled to the forefront – it is an omnipresent hue around the world.

Source: Pantone

2018: PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet

Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.

Source: Pantone

2019: PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral

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.

Source: Pantone

And finally, the 2020 Pantone Color of the year is…

2020: PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue

Imprinted in our psyches as a restful color, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge. Aiding concentration and bringing laser like clarity, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue re-centers our thoughts. A reflective blue tone, Classic Blue fosters resilience.

Source: Pantone

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A Decade in Colors, Pantone Color of the Year 2010-2020

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