UltraViolet – Pantone Colour of the Year 2018

January 30, 2018

“The Pantone Colour Institute has been announcing the “Colour of the Year” for the past 18 years. This selection guides design trends for the coming year and provides a creative springboard for new brands, ideas, and projects”

2018 is UltraViolet. Thanks to Pantone we can now use UltraViolet as an adjective to describe just how outrageous, electric, and marvelous this year is going to be! “You genius! That idea is so Ultra-Violet!”


But these Pantone guys, though. Why do they get to choose the colour of the year, anyway?

If you’re in the print, packaging, fashion or product design industries, you’ve heard of Pantone. If you’re not, they’re a pretty big deal.

Think of them as Colour-Linguists. People who speak two or more languages, study ancient ways of communication, or who can translate texts, codes, and secrets from thousands of years ago have always fascinated us. If you agree, then you will, no doubt, be equally amazed by Pantone, and their consulting arm The Pantone Colour Institute.

The Pantone Colour Institute motto is: When 80% of human experience is filtered through the eyes,
we understand that the choice of colour is critical.

For every industry to make this critical “choice of colour” and communicate the choices amongst each other, from brands to designers to suppliers and printers and packagers we all need to speak the same colour-language; and the industry standard since 1963 has been the language that Pantone developed.

Books, guides, colour consulting services, thousands of colours and references – Pantone makes choosing the precisely-perfect colour simple because no matter how unique a colour is Pantone has assigned it an equally unique numeric code as well as effervescent name.  Our colour of the year, for example: 18-3838, UltraViolet.

In the physical colour guides – fan-decks format, colour chips, or any other colour samples – that Pantone makes available there is also alphabetical suffix indicating the type of material the actual sample is printed on for example TX for fabric, C for coated, and U for un-coated paper to make matching for different industries and purposes even more accurate.

Heard of Minion Yellow or Tiffany Blue? The Pantone Colour Institute customized and standardized these colours by working closely with the brands – Illumination Entertainment and Tiffany & Co. respectively – in order to ensure that no matter where in the world you go, when you see that colour the emotions you associate with the brand immediately fill you up.  The Pantone Colour institute makes it their duty to offer such consulting services to any brands who want to make a name –  or rather a colour  –  for themselves; even working with TV network A&E to make customize a Bates Motel Blue for their series on the origin of everyone’s favourite Psycho.

With all this knowledge and prestige gathered over the past 55 years, we can see what gives the Pantone the authority to predict exactly what colour will define a year. A practice they’ve engaged in since 2000 the colour they choose goes on to inspire every type of fashion, art, and style movement. This year they foresee that Pantone 18-3838, “Ultra-Violet” will inspire us all.

The colour of nebulae – where stars are born; the colour of magic spells that conjure the impossible; the colour of eclectic personalities who think thoughts that no-one else has dared and have sculpted a culture with their passion.

The colour of 2018 is the colour of dreamers. What fantastical-ness will Ultra-Violet inspire you to create?

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