Pantone unveils its Colour of the Year for 2018

Pantone (Carlstadt, NJ), a subsidiary of X-Rite and provider of professional colour language standards and digital solutions, has named Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet, as the Pantone Color of the Year for 2018. “A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, it communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us towards the future,” said the company. “We’re living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It’s this kind of creative inspiration that’s indigenous to Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. “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.” Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now, the company added. “The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”

Leatrice Eiseman.
Leatrice Eiseman.

Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality and artistic brilliance, said Pantone. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. “Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.”

Historically, there’s been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet. The colour 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 can also energize the communities that gather there.


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.