Popular culture has been analysed and the results are in. Purple reigns. The colour institute at Pantone have revealed the Pantone Colour of the Year 2018 is Ultra Violet.
Pantone tell us that enigmatic purples have long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. Earlier this year the company paid tribute to Prince in their colour Love Symbol #2, and for 2018 they add musical icons David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix into the mix for their part in bringing shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Pantone continues, “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.”
Ultra Violet, a blue based purple, combines the opposing colours of blue and red, fitting for our times of of political extremes and aggressive tactics, and offers hope for a more spiritual and balanced future.
However, ultra violet is not a colour that most of us can see. By definition ‘ultra violet’ means beyond violet in the light spectrum. Unless they have undergone a cataract operation to remove their IV filter, (famously Monet underwent surgery and his later paintings are a … of violets) most people filter out and cannot distinguish ultra violet rays.
Long before the announcement is made public, Pantone partners lifestyle design and fashion brands to produce products to market alongside influencing graphic design, product packaging, fashion, home furnishings and even food.
This year they have launched a collaboration with the online arm of Saatchi. Together they have created limited-edition collection include new works by international artists, working in painting, sculpture and printmaking, to embody “the spirit of Ultra Violet”.
More excitingly it’s also the name of a feminist community of women in the US committed to fight sexism and create a more inclusive world – now here’s the future. Let’s hope we see more of this Ultra Violet in 2018.
Pantone Colour of the Year 2018 is Ultra Violet.