Pantone Classic Blue: Why this 'reassuring' shade is 2020's Colour of the Year

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Pantone: The Colour Institute has announced Classic Blue as its Colour of the Year. [Photo: Pantone]

Pantone has announced its 2020 Colour of the Year: Classic Blue.

Otherwise known as the somewhat less catchy 19-4502, the colour is said to be a “reassuring presence instilling calm, confidence, and connection”.

It’s expected to be a strong presence in everything from fashion and beauty to home décor next year.

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The Pantone Colour of the Year aims to be “emblematic of what’s taking place at a certain time in our culture and what colour could hope to provide to people,” Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Colour Institute, tells Yahoo UK.

At a time “where there’s a lot of instability and a lot of unrest”, Classic Blue – the colour of the night sky - offers something dependable that is yet to return every day, says Pressman.

“The evening sky is there for everyone no matter where you are in the world,” she adds.

“It’s like you’re at the end of the day, taking a sigh, taking some time for yourself in restfulness and tranquility.”

Classic Blue will inspire all areas of design in 2020, according to Pantone.

Blue sky thinking

Classic Blue also taps into the notion of “blue sky thinking” – a term for brainstorming without limits.

“There’s a lot of thought and psychology behind this particular colour,” says Pressman.

“It’s open, it encourages us to think beyond what’s happening, increases our perspective and open that flow of communication.”

This is important “at a time when we need to expand our thinking, think differently and challenge ourselves,” she adds.

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The colour “Classic Blue” also taps into a renewed interest in sustainability.

We live in an age where we’re looking for classic items in “anchor shades” that we can wear time and time again and match with other items in our wardrobe, says Pressman.

“It’s that whole quest to buy less, but buy quality,” she says.

“There’s a return to structured, more classic dressing. As we all head into a new era, we wanted to challenge ourselves to find inspiration from new sources that not only evolve our Colour of the Year platform, but also help our global audiences achieve richer and more rewarding colour experiences.

“This desire, combined with the emotional properties of PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, motivated us to expand beyond the visual, to bring the 2020 Pantone Colour of the Year to life through a multi-sensory experience,” she added.

Pantone of the Year: Classic Blue.

Previous Pantone Colour of the Year shades

The coming year, 2020, marks the 21st year of Pantone’s Colour of the Year.

This Colour of the Year 2019 is Living Coral (16-1546) – an “animating of life-affirming coral hue”, according to the institution.

The year before, in 2018, it was “inventive and imaginative” Ultra Violet.

While in 2017 it was Greenery, “symbolic of new beginnings”.

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