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Decoding the Color of Tomorrow: The Inside Story of How Pantone Decides the Color of the Year

In 1999, Pantone embarked on a mission to encapsulate the global mood through a unique color each year. This journey began as an educational program, aiming to engage the design community and color enthusiasts worldwide in a conversation about the intersection of culture and color.


A History of Colors

The history of Pantone, stretches back to 1963, establishing itself as a cornerstone in the color industry. The Pantone Color Institute, founded in 1985 and led by Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman, has played a crucial role in advancing the understanding and impact of color in design, psychology, and beyond. This rich history sets the stage for Pantone's influential role in shaping color trends and expressions globally.


From Cerulean to Peach Fuzz

From the first color, PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean Blue, to the latest, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz, Pantone's selections have always been more than just shades; they're narratives that capture the essence of the times.


The Selection Process: 

“Peach Fuzz” is Pantone’s 25th annual Color of the Year by Michael Marquand, Pantone

Global Inspiration and Cultural Pulse

The process of selecting the Color of the Year is an extensive global endeavor. Pantone's team of experts embarks on a worldwide quest for new color influences, delving into various domains such as entertainment, art, fashion, and emerging lifestyles. The process is dynamic, with each year's cultural events and technological advancements playing a significant role. This global exploration is a quest to find a color that not only resonates with the present cultural climate but also forecasts future trends.

The Essence of Color Selection

At the heart of Pantone's selection process is an ethos of purity and objectivity. The global team, comprising individuals from varied design, cultural, and geographical backgrounds, approaches the task without commercial or personal biases. Their discussions are a continuous, collaborative effort, blending their collective expertise in color and design. This approach ensures that the selected color truly represents the collective consciousness and cultural sentiments of the time.


Coloring the World

Pantone's Color of the Year goes beyond mere aesthetic appeal; its broader aim is to underscore the influential role of color in shaping perceptions, decisions, and identities. The chosen color captures the essence of the global zeitgeist, symbolizing the collective mood and attitudes of people around the world. Pantone emphasizes color as a powerful tool for communication, transcending language and cultural barriers. The program plays a pivotal role in helping both companies and consumers understand and leverage the power of color in their daily lives. It's about enriching human connections and fostering a deeper understanding of how color influences our world and the messages we convey through it.


A Vision for the Future

As Pantone's Color of the Year celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2024, its legacy has grown into a cultural phenomenon. Influencing industries from fashion to interior design, this program has become a beacon for emerging trends and consumer sentiments.

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