[Vol.81]Who Decides ‘Color of the Year’

기사승인 2019.06.05  


- 올해의 색은 누가 정하는 것일까?


 Passing down the street, you might have seen a lot of coral colors this year. Moreover, you might have watched commercial videos of a cosmetics company promoting ‘coral edition’. These experiences are all related to a corporate, Pantone.


1. What is Pantone?

  Pantone is not a company that sells real ink, but a company that tells you how much RGB and CMYK are mixed to make certain colors. RGB and CMYK are a color defined by a combination of R(Red), G(Green), B(Blue), and C(cyan), M(magenta), Y(yellow), K(black). Pantone is famous for the Pantone Matching System, which labels numerous colors with serial numbers. Pantone color is currently used as a standard color language throughout industries.

  Then, what is a color language and why is it important? Picture red-based purples and blue-based purples in your mind. At first glance, it looks similar, but there are some differences over whether it is warm or cold, light or dark. Since the 'color' is an abstract concept, it is hard to explain to others. Thus, the errors often occur in the printing process which causes discomfort due to reprint. Creating an objective, numeric language means that any printer anywhere in the world can accurately produce a color.


2. Color of the year

  Since 1999, Pantone has been announcing its "Color of the Year"- in the first week in December every year. It has a great impact on the industries and is directly linked to the consumers' choice. For example, the color of the year set by Pantone in 2016 was "Rose quartz," and iPhone 6s and 6s Plus released in "Rose Gold" colors were sold out in just three seconds.

  Now you might question the purpose of releasing the so-called color of the year. "To stimulate people to talk more about colors," said Ms. Leatrice Eiseman, an executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, as an answer. She explained the color of the year helps people to recognize how important color is in lives and are stimulated one’s own creativity.

  Then, how is the color of the year selected? Pantone forms teams composed of psychologists and economists from various fields to expect where color trends are heading. It also refers to Korea where K-pop and K-beauty are developed. "We gather and analyze big data to identify the most notable colors, study the valid reasons for judgment, and then present 'color of the year' that reflects the social implications," said an official at Pantone. Moreover, it is said that the social implications of color and its psychological impact on people are the most important things to be considered in the process of selection.


3. Living Coral

  The color of 2019 is "Living Coral." It is inspired by the color of coral that provides food and shelter for marine life. Living Coral is a very vibrant color, as it has ‘living’ in the color’s name. Pantone stated that the "Living Coral" is a coral-inspired color that energizes and enlivens busy modern people. Moreover, Ms. Leatrice Eiseman stressed the importance of naming and said Pantone tries to make a name that plays a positive role.

  Currently, there are about 2,100 colors on the Pantone's color list, and each of them has names given by Pantone. Why don't you have the fun of looking and thinking about what the names of the colors around us are in daily life and what the positive effects they have?

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