'Ultra Violet' Is Color Of The Year 2018: What's The Meaning Behind Pantone's New Selection?

Described as a "dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade," PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet is the color of 2018. Learn here the meaning behind this blue-based purple and how the creative world will incorporate it in their designs. Photo: Pantone

The Pantone Color Institute, a consulting service that forecasts color trends around the entire creative world picked “Ultra Violet” as the color of the year 2018. Described as complex and contemplative by the color corporation, this enigmatic blue-based purple is associated to the mysteries of the cosmos, the future and the mystical universe.

According to Pantone, purple is a symbol of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance, mentioning musical icons like Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix as their biggest users. The company also informed that the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark in the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.

“The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today,” said Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute in a statement.

After the selection, designers and brands use color to inspire and influence. One of the most iconic lines from the movie "The Devil Wears Prada," makes reference to the power behind this selection that since 2000 everybody waits for. During the film, Miranda Priestly, a character played by Meryl Streep, is deciding between two similar belts for an outfit. Andy (Anne Hathaway) sniggers because she thinks they look exactly the same, and that’s when Miranda claps back using the following quote:

“ I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select... I don't know... that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually cerulean. And you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent... wasn't it who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here.

And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.”

Even though Cerulean was the color of the year 2000, and the very first time Pantone selected a “Color of the Year,” and Dominican designer Oscar de la Renta never did a collection of cerulean gowns, Miranda did let everyone know that nobody is exempt of the fashion industry, and it's the same with Pantone.

Pantone Color Institute is a huge influence in interior design, fashion, graphic design, beauty, paint, florists, and art in general. But how do they choose a particular color? Twice a year, the company hosts a secret meeting of representatives from various nations' color standards groups. After two days of presentations and debate, they choose a color for the following year.

Find below the full list from 2000 to date of the Color of the Year:

Pantone Pantone Color Institute Photo: Courtesy

If you need inspiration on how to use "Ultra Violet" find images below:


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Shirley Gomez has been exposed to many aspects of the art world. Besides being a Fashion Journalist, she studied Fashion Styling and Fashion Styling for Men at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Interior Design at UNIBE and Fashion Design at ITSMJ Fashion School in the Dominican Republic. She worked as a Fashion Journalist, Fashion Stylist and Social Media Manager at one of the most recognized magazines in the Dominican Republic, Oh! Magazine, as an occasional Entertainment Journalist, of the prestigious newspaper “Listín Diario”, as well as a fashion collaborator of a radio show aired in 100.9 FM SuperQ. When Shirley is not writing you can find her listening Demi Lovato or Beyonce's songs, decorating her apartment or watching Family Feud.