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Color authority Pantone has revealed Ultra Violet as the color of the year for 2018. The X-Rite subsidiary’s color experts describe the hue as a “dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade.”

Enigmatic purples have long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality and artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of violet to the forefront of Western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. The company’s experts say the depth of Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world and push boundaries through creative outlets.

“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level. From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.”

Historically, Pantone notes, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet. The color is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world. The use of purple-toned lighting in meditation spaces and other gathering places energizes the communities that gather there and inspire connection.

In interiors, Ultra Violet can transform a room into one of extraordinary self-expression, or conversely its polish can tone down a room with subdued, modern pairings. Adding spice and brightness, Ultra Violet calls attention to a tufted couch, piece of art or accent wall.

Specifically in the hospitality sector, color experts say they are seeing purples like Ultra Violet take center stage in interior spaces as large and small hotels harness color and design to entice travelers and stay relevant.

“The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today,” adds Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute. “As individuals around the world become more fascinated with color and realize its ability to convey deep messages and meanings, designers and brands should feel empowered to use color to inspire and influence. The Color of the Year is one moment in time that provides strategic direction for the world of trend and design, reflecting the Pantone Color Institute’s year-round work doing the same for designers and brands.”

In choosing the Color of the Year, Pantone Color Institute staffers comb the world looking for new color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, playstyles and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures and effects that impact color, relevant social media platforms and even up-coming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.

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