Prince would be proud.
Pantone have just announced their colour of the year and it’s purple, or rather it is Ultra violet, “… the most complex of all colors, because it takes two shades that are seemingly diametrically opposed — blue and red — and brings them together to create something new.” (in the words of the Pantone Color Institute).
They say that it is the perfect colour for today’s world. “We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. 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,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of 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.”
It’s certainly a vivid colour. Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests mystery, intrigue and a spiritual and magical feeling. As well as Prince, other artists like David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix have used similar shades as expressions of individuality and counter-cultural ideas. This is definitely not a conformist colour!
Ultra violet is not a common colour for foods, but there are some more exotic vegetables and fruits that have similar hues, especially those with nutritional benefits such as antioxidants. It is also a very sophisticated colour in fashion and design, associated with luxury and elegance, and pairing with other colours more easily than we sometimes think. Used in beauty applications, it is considered highly creative and expressive, bringing and complexity and mystery to someone’s appearance.
In partisan times, some people are even interpreting Ultra violet as a political choice. With red and blue parties, purple is the colour of those in the middle.
A colour of mystery, luxury, power, thoughtfulness, uncertainty and associations with the cosmos and the vastness of space (and the smallness of humans). This is certainly an interesting choice for 2018. But will next year be the year of purple people eater, purple passion, purple haze or purple rain?