The Pantone Color-Matching System has revolutionized the way many industries standardize color. Pantone as a company has come up with a creative color wheel of paint chips that allows people to point to a specific Pantone color and know exactly what they’re looking for or getting – no matter how far apart they are or what the lighting is like. Every year, Pantone releases a Color of the Year for the upcoming year that they believe will embody the spirit of people and the human experience. This year, the color is something new and wonderful. 

Very Peri – The Story

Pantone

Pantone announced earlier this month that the color for 2022 will be: Very Peri. This beautiful, soothing, inviting periwinkle reminds us of childhood bedrooms, Winter skies, and Summer lake adventures. For the first time since they starting their Color of the Year tradition, Pantone created a brand new color for the circumstance instead of drawing from their existing color wheel.

Very Peri is meant to evoke transition. In a statement, Pantone shared their thought process behind the bold new choice, “We are living in transformative times. PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri is a symbol of the global zeitgeist of the moment and the transition we are going through. As we emerge from an intense period of isolation, our notions and standards are changing, and our physical and digital lives have merged in new ways. Digital design helps us to stretch the limits of reality, opening the door to a dynamic virtual world where we can explore and create new color possibilities. With trends in gaming, the expanding popularity of the metaverse and rising artistic community in the digital space PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri illustrates the fusion of modern life and how color trends in the digital world are being manifested in the physical world and vice versa.”

With many of us stuck behind our blue screens for much of the year, Very Peri represents the penetration of the digital world into our lives, along with a hope for a transformative tomorrow. This playful new color with violet-red undertones, “displays a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages courageous creativity and imaginative expression,” according to Pantone. 

2021 and 2020

Pantone

The warmth and comfort of this 2022’s Color of the Year is a stark reversal from the yellow and gray that were chosen for 2021. For 2021, it was “illuminating” and “ultimate gray,” a sunflower-like yellow and mid-tone gray respectively. 

In a statement about the choices for 2021, Pantone explained, “As people look for ways to fortify themselves with energy, clarity, and hope to overcome the continuing uncertainty, spirited and emboldening shades satisfy our quest for vitality. PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation. The colors of pebbles on the beach and natural elements whose weathered appearance highlights an ability to stand the test of time, Ultimate Gray quietly assures, encouraging feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.” For 2021, Pantone hoped we’d find creativity and endurance – and it would seem, at the end of the year looking back, they nailed it. 

But what about 2020, the year none of us could have seen coming? It was a “classic blue” kind of year. In the statement describing their choice, Pantone called the color reassuring, calm, confidence-inspiring and evocative of connection. We have to say they missed wildly on that prediction – but we can’t blame them. 

How the Color is Chosen

Pantone

How does it all happen? How do they choose a color for a year that hasn’t even happened yet? It’s all about what we hope for. NBC New York shares, “‘The Pantone Color of the Year reflects what is taking place in our global culture, expressing what people are looking for that color can hope to answer,’ Laurie Pressman, the vice president of the Pantone Color Institute said in a release. ‘Creating a new color for the first time in the history of our PANTONE Color of the Year educational color program reflects the global innovation and transformation taking place. As society continues to recognize color as a critical form of communication, and a way to express and affect ideas and emotions and engage and connect, the complexity of this new red violet infused blue hue highlights the expansive possibilities that lay before us.’”

If what Pantone says we’re hoping for in 2022 is transition, we can’t argue. Hopefully the transitions we make in 2022 will be for the better!