Pantone’s color of the year 2018: Ultra Violet 18-3838
Every year when Pantone announces its choice for color of the year, it’s like my own personal Golden Globes. I buy into it fully, knowing full well it’s a clever marketing tactic. I dive in anyway, splashing that year’s color wherever I can in proposals, graphics, my wardrobe and home decor. The 2017 choice, Greenery 15-0343, didn’t do much for me; 2016 was interesting with a blend of Rose Quartz 13-1520 and Serenity 15-3919. But this year, oh yes friends, this year, IT. IS. ON.
If you know me, you know I love purple in all shades. When it came to designing my logo 14 years ago, there was no other choice for me, and even though I refreshed the design at my 10-year anniversary, the color stayed.
Over the years I’ve tried to branch out. People close to me have suggested that I may love it too much and that I should try to avoid overusing it. Although I do enjoy many other colors, purple is my first love. That’s why I end up with multiple shades of it in my make-up kit, nail polish collection, and wardrobe. And although it wasn’t the main reason that I went to UW, it was a happy coincidence that I could show Husky pride while wearing my favorite color.
I’m always drawn to purple. I guess you could call it my signature color.
So when I heard Pantone’s announcement, I was instantly excited and then quickly became curious about whether the color truly represents me. Let’s break it down. Pantone.com offers these definitions:
“Inventive and imaginative, Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come. Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now.”
I try to be inventive and imaginative with every project I take on, and personally, I’m intrigued and excited to discover what 2018 will bring. So far, so good. Next up:
“Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront…as personal expressions of individuality…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.”
Ok, I’m no Prince (though I do love him, and not just because of Purple Rain), but I always aim to bring a level of artistry to my work. I love experimenting and pushing boundaries, which can sometimes be challenging within the conservative A/E/C industry. Many firms are doing just that with recent rebranding efforts, experimenting with bold colors and non-conventional font choices. It’s interesting to see.
“Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet. The color is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world. The use of purple-toned lighting in meditation spaces and other gathering places energizes the communities that gather there and inspire connection.”
Whatever your individual spirituality is, or even if you don’t consider yourself a spiritual person, if purple can help energize community gathering and inspire connections, I’m all for it. Organizations like the March of Dimes, the Lupus Foundation of America, and the National Organization for Women have embraced this in their brand identities.
So where did I end up?
Given these definitions of Ultra Violet, it feels like Pantone just validated me for loving the color my whole life. Even though I was not looking for this validation, I’m glad to be associated with it. Color is so subjective, and we all have our preferences. If purple isn’t your favorite, well, there’s always next year. As for me, I’m going to enjoy the 2018 Ultra Violet ride.