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//Pantone color of the year 2020: future, ecology or nostalgia?

Pantone color of the year 2020: future, ecology or nostalgia?

It’s time to start thinking about the Pantone color of the year 2020 which, as you know, will be revealed in December. However, thanks to the palettes this US company releases during the year, and our own trendwatching activities (check out the latest in the trendwatching section), we can already start analysing what the Pantone 2020 color palettes might look like. This article looks at some trend-setting Pantone 2020 colors (released in PANTONEVIEW home + interiors 2020) in the form two color palettes, and also focuses on Bleached Coral.

Will Pantone Color 2020 again be ecology-themed?

In the design and architecture world, climate change is now one of the (quite literally) hottest topics. Many prominent designers and design studios are pushing hard to generate greater awareness of the problem, and there is no shortage of examples: just look at Architects Declare, created to reduce CO2 emissions in the architectural field (as discussed in this article).  The choice of Living Coral as Pantone color of the year 2019 (here’s the article) sent out a clear message to the entire design world by focusing on the great challenge of our time: climate change, and the sad fate of the coral reefs, which could disappear from our seas forever.

Leatrice Eiseman – Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, explained what led to the crowning of Living Coral on 6 December 2019:

color is a standardising lens through which we perceive both the real and digital worlds. This is particularly true for color of the year 2019. At a time when consumers are looking for social interaction and relationships, the humanising comfort of this convivial Pantone color of the year 2019 hits just the right note.

A rejoining of man and nature that has opened the way towards multiple interpretations within the interior design world, which we brought together on one of our Pinterest boards.

foto living coral pantone 2019 design

Will Pantone color 2020 renew the attention to this topic? There’s no way of knowing, of course, although there has been, since early 2019, talk of a hypothetical 2020 color of the year – Bleached Coral – which, as a follow-up to Living Coral, would add weight to the decision to focus on the issue of coral die-off. So let’s try and understand what happened to put Bleached Coral at the forefront of speculation.

Pantone Bleached Coral: how did this news come about?

It was in January 2019, after the launch of Living Coral by Pantone, that the creative Australian duo Jack + Huei (Huei Yin Wong, art director and copywriter Jack Railton-Woodcock) sought to reroute the direction of Pantone color 2019 towards the environmental disaster killing off the Great Barrier Reef. The duo strongly felt, in fact, that the US company should have faced the problem of coral die-off in much more decisively:

A brand as influential as Pantone should take a stance on issues that impact society, such as climate change. They should use their clout to talk to creators in every industry and through them reach out to a wider public to generate awareness of how our choices are threatening to wreak havoc on the planet itself.

Hence the Australian duo’s suggestion to make Pantone Bleached Coral 115-1 U, a slightly white Living Coral, color of the year 2020.

The term ‘bleached’, of course, refers to the way coral turns white when it starts to die off. The US company has never officially expressed an opinion on the Australians’ stance, who, in word and deed, sought to “hack” one of the most influential decisions in the design world: the choice of color of the year.

Pantone Palettes 2020: is the color of the year here?

Every year Pantone periodically releases a number of color Palettes, providing insight into interior and furniture design trends. By June last year the company had already released three palettes (as discussed in this article); this year, instead, our focus falls on just two 2020 color palettes, both rich in character and with clear-cut themes.

Color of the year 2020 might well be hidden inside one of these Pantone 2020 color palettes, even though this was not the case last year. But let’s tale a closer look at what Pantone sees as the trend-setting colors of 2020.

Pantone Prints Charming, an innovative yet nostalgic palette

A combination of innovation and nostalgia. That’s how Pantone describes the Prints Charming palette, a narrative of colors in which modern merges with antique to create a daring mix bursting with creativity. Prints Charming is included in the PANTONEVIEW home + interiors 2020 guide and brings a quirkiness with it that, however, helps us contextualise the mood of the shades they’re trying to create: tattoos as an art form.

There’s so much buzz around tattoos that the patterns and color motifs of interior design textiles are drawing their inspiration form tattoos – and vice versa! There’s tradition, history, unexpected sources of inspiration, sometimes enriched by bright colors, sometimes by the most delicate of hues.

That explains why Prints Charming combines floral reds, greens and eye-catching cobalt with minimal Jet Black and Antique White.

The Pantone Prints Charming Palette 2020 has nine colors in all:

  • Jet Black (Pantone 19-0303)
  • Antique White (Pantone 11-0105)
  • Chrysanthemum (Pantone 17-1641)
  • Bright Cobalt (Pantone 19-4037)
  • Umber (Pantone 18 -1246)
  • Rose of Sharon (Pantone 17-1635)
  • Popcorn (Pantone 12-0825)
  • Wheat (Pantone 13-1016)
  • Green Bay (Pantone 16-5810)

Here’s the Pantone Prints Charming Palette 2020


Femininity Redefined, 7 colors with a distinct female feel

The Pantone 2020 Femininity Redefined palette highlights the trend of drawing on things feminine at a time when women are pushing hard for social equality on their own terms.

All this takes the form of warm colors that transmit a sense of sharing. “Complex, compelling, sophisticated pastels of intriguing depth” explains Pantone.

In Femininity Redefined, then, we find a dulled yellow, striking flesh-colored nuances such as a warm lilac, a host of colors ready to re-invent and give personality – in feminine form – to certain typically cold interiors. Sportswear brands, which have a long tradition of identifying with masculinity, are overhauling their product philosophies by extending their color ranges and modifying classic styles to incorporate feminine nuance.

The Pantone 2020 Femininity Redefined palette has nine different colors:

  • Pastel Parchment (Pantone 11-0603)
  • Mellow Rose (Pantone 15-1515)
  • Golden Glow (Pantone 15-1050)
  • Skyway (Pantone 14-4112)
  • Sea Fog (Pantone 16-3304)
  • Custard (Pantone 13-0720)
  • Mocha Mousse (Pantone 17-1230)

Here’s the Pantone Femininity Redefined Palette 2020


Tosilab’s 5 Pantone Palettes 2020: from Dolcevita to Login

We discussed this in the article (see link below) on the color palettes we matched with the 5 trends – Dolcevita, Wonderland, Color of Silence, Eco-Logic and Login – we identified for 2019/2020.

Le 5 palette colore dei trend 2019/2020 Tosilab

The range extends from the nostalgic Dolcevita colors – akin to the Pantone 2020 Prints Charming palette – to the primary, playful colors of Wonderland; Color of Silence, instead, offers up purely neutral hues (that match the just-analysed Femininity Redefined palette) while Eco-Logic takes its cue from nature and new aesthetics that stem from plastic recycling. Last but not least, Login conveys a ‘virtual reality‘ of digitally-oriented evanescent colors.

Following Greenery in 2017, Ultra Violet in 2018 and Living Coral in 2019, we’ll find out the color of the year 2020 when we come to December: whichever one it turns out to be, though, we’re sure it will, once again, have the power to surprise.

Which do you think will be Pantone Color of the Year 2020? Let us know and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube!

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