Pantone's Choice May Cor(r)al Conservationists

Though inspired by its calming ambiance, the Pantone Institute’s 2019 Color of the Year, Living Coral, may inadvertently benefit conservation.

In December 2018, Pantone announced Living Coral would steal the show as their 2019 color of the year. The declaration wrapped up 2018, International Year of the Reef, hopefully sustaining the Year’s mission through 2019, and beyond.


Behind the Color Choice

Each year, the Pantone Institute team scours through film, architecture, lifestyle and cultural trends, travel destinations, and more, looking for Color of the Year inspiration. Based on their findings, Pantone releases a annual Color of the Year, which typically sets the stage for design and decor the following year.

This year’s choice, Living Coral, was inspired by nature and the beauty of coral reefs. “It is a color we see in nature, lying at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic eco-system,” explains Pantone vice president Laurie Pressman. “It is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of nature’s color and serves as a source of sustenance and shelter to sea life.”

What’s in a Name?

As Pressman so beautifully worded, coral are ecosystem engineers, which build and support the diverse organisms inhabiting coral reef ecosystems.

Choosing to name the color “Living Coral” makes a strong statement that 1) coral is alive, and 2) living coral is vastly different than non-living coral. For the many who haven’t seen coral, dead or alive, this name makes an important distinction. It reminds others of the beauty we find the healthy natural landscapes that surround us— a sentiment burned in their subconscious every time they look at their wall color.

Cor(r)alling Conservationists

Though a relatively small gesture, declaring “Living Coral” Pantone’s Color of the Year could have a great impact on conservation. The decision is — both indirectly and directly— spreading awareness for coral reef conservation. Living Coral conveys appreciation for coral reefs to new, non-science audiences.

Others curious about inspiration behind Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year are striking conversations about coral reef ecosystems. For example, Coastal Living, a seaside-inspired lifestyle magazine, published an article about how much coral is actually alive— alerting readers to the dim reality of coral reef declines. Others are taking note of the color’s strong environmental message, as well.

Now lets keep that marine stewardship flowing through 2019…

Click here for more information about Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year, Living Coral.