What Is the Pantone Color of the Year and Why Is It Important?

Every year on the first days of December, The Pantone Color Institute announces the new Color of the Year. It has been said to be the best part of the year for anyone who works with color.

We’re excited, how about you?

Introducing: Classic Blue 19-4052

In celebration of the new color, let’s look at how the Pantone Color System and the Pantone Color Institute have been the kings of influence in all aspects of color design and color trends over the years.

The Pantone Color Matching System

The Pantone Color System is the most important color matching system in the world. The system originated in 1963 to solve the problem of complicated color matching in the printing industry. Soon after, Pantone became the easiest and simplest way to classify, communicate and match colors with the use of a color catalog in a fan format. Every color, in every tone and tint, was given a number to classify it. Pantone literally wrote the book on color matching. For over 40 years, Pantone has been the go-to color matching system for not only the design industry but also paint, textile and plastic manufacturers.

The Pantone Color Institute

The Pantone Color Institute offers designers, marketers, creators and brands a chance to work together and build a strong and powerful color presence. As the leading color matching system, their knowledge of color is unparalleled. They are the experts in how color affects not only design but also consumerism.

The Color of the Year

In 2000, the Pantone Color Institute created the Pantone Color of the Year as a trendsetting concept for branding, marketing and creative society as a whole. The introduction of the Pantone Color of the Year confirmed The Pantone Color Institute as the front-runner for all things color related.

It is not surprising then that The Pantone Color of the Year is awaited with much excitement and anticipation every December.

color swatches pantone color of the yearcolor swatches pantone color of the year

How Does the Color of the Year Influence Marketing Trends?

The Pantone Color Institute studies color trends throughout the year in order to decide on the next Pantone Color of the Year. They take into consideration all aspects of society: fashion, marketing, social media and even politics. The hue chosen as Color of the Year has become increasingly influential in the vast world of design and brand marketing.

The first Color of the Year was selected back in 2000, but it wasn’t until 2007 that the color trend forecasting took on a life of its own. Nowadays, when a new color is announced, Pantone offers color lovers an array of inspirational products and color combination palettes designed especially with the corresponding color in mind. Hundreds of brands take on the task of designing products with the Color of the Year. This reinforces the importance of how the Pantone color trend forecast is important and influential.

In the last few years, the announcement of the new Color of the Year has had plenty of media coverage. Bloggers have written articles about how to use the color; homemade producers have created products to sell; graphic designers have created social media templates … and that just skims the surface.

How Can You Incorporate the Color of the Year Into Your Business?

The extensive color trending research done by the Pantone Color Institute saves you countless hours of marketing research for your own business. When the new color is announced in December, you or your designers should look into how it can be incorporated into your business.

The Pantone Color of the Year is a color trend forecast for the consumer, which means that it’s intended to be used for consumer products and designs created for clients. Some creative brands renew their look every year according to the new color but most businesses cannot handle that much change. The Color of the Year is meant to be used for marketing and product creation, not necessarily a rebranding. This means that you can create ads with the new color, just don’t change your logo or brand colors.

When posting your Classic Blue inspired visual marketing designs on social media, don’t forget to use the dedicated hashtag #COY2020 and get extra (and unexpected) exposure.

Some Creative Ideas

  • Clothing companies can design some garments in Classic Blue.
  • Makeup companies can create a Classic Blue collection.
  • Cake and dessert businesses can create some Classic Blue delicacies.
  • Graphic designers that sell ready-to-use designs can create some Classic Blue templates or social media graphics.
  • Classic Blue can be incorporated into homemade products and decorative prints.
  • Interior designers can suggest Classic Blue decorative pieces to their clients.
  • Merchandising companies can offer Classic Blue products.

Use Pantone Color Tools

Since 2013, Pantone offers extra color and design tools which match the announcement of the Color of the Year. Graphic designers, fashion designers, makeup designers, interior decorators and product manufacturers have access to all sorts of Pantone Color System tools available for creating new and trending products and graphics with the Color of the Year.

Any kind of product can be manufactured with the Color of the Year. For example, Pantone has a line of products that renews every year with the new color: mugs, keychains, and specialized color chips. Pantone also has a special plastic color matching system for plastic product manufacturing.

Graphic designers can incorporate the hue into color schemes for branding, publications or packaging. Fashion designers can create clothing and accessories that either showcase the color or use it as an accent. Fabric designers can incorporate the color into textured fabrics or patterns for curtains, pillows and throw blankets. The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to using the Color of the Year in consumer products.

Check out the amazing array of products available this year with Classic Blue. Pantone and their collaborators also sell products with the Color of the Year. Look below for the Pantone Partners and their campaigns.[1]

Pantone Partners Using Classic Blue

Globe: Classic Blue on the Decks

Globe Skateboards has partnered up with The Pantone Institute to create a set of 100 limited edition boards with gold-plated, engraved graphics. It’s uncommon for something like a skateboard company to partner up with Pantone, but for such a classic and deep-felt color like Classic Blue, it makes sense. 

VDL: Classic Blue Beauty Products

Every year, Pantone partners up with a beauty line to create a limited edition collection. This year, the beauty company is VDL and they’ve created a sleek line of cosmetic products packaged in classic blue.

Kravet: Classic Blue Interior Decor Items

Kravet has been partnering up with Pantone for many years due to how color is an integral part of interior design. Classic Blue looks great on wallpapers and fabrics, as well as on decorative elements for home and office. For 2020, Kravet has once again put together a great collection.

Adobe Stock: A Curated Classic Blue Visual Collection

This is the third year that Adobe Stock and Pantone have partnered up to curate a selection of images in Classic Blue. Photos, illustrations, backgrounds and templates all in Classic Blue are ready for everyone to start designing anything they want.

How to Use Pantone Colors on the Web

The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is and has always been a system for printed materials. The Pantone color on print compared to the same color on a screen will never be exactly the same, but it will be very close. This is why Pantone offers a few different systems for using Pantone colors on the web.

One of the greatest reasons for this is so that a brand can maintain its color schemes from print to web. These systems were also created because Pantone knows that some designs stay on the computer and never make it to print, like websites and social media.

Pantone also wants to make it easy for web designers and marketers to use the Pantone Color of the Year.

The Pantone Color Systems – Graphics is a collection of tools for designers and marketers that makes it easy to transfer color inspirations from swatches to computers and onto print. Pantone also offers systems for fashion and product design.[2]

For a faster solution, you can also easily use the Pantone Color Finder. [3]

Insert any PMS number in the search box and it will show you the corresponding RGB and HEX codes to use on the web. A visual content editor like Visme[4] will accept the HEX number. Advanced editors like Photoshop will take the RGB value. If you are unsure about the color number, you can pick a color in the color picker on the left and the website will then show you all the Pantone swatches that are similar in tonality. You can then pick your exact hue and it will show the RGB and HEX codes.

These are the color codes for this year’s color, Classic Blue.

To use Classic Blue in your Visme designs, insert the HEX code : 0F4C81

How will you incorporate the Color of the Year into your business this year?

Pantone Colors of the Year: 2000 to 2020

Before looking at all the previous colors of the year, let’s take a look at the brand new Color of the Year, Classic Blue.

2020: Classic Blue 19-4052


Create your own graphics with the new Pantone Color of the Year.Try It for Free[5]

Before looking at all the previous colors of the year, let’s take a look at the brand new Color of the Year, Classic Blue. 

As we enter a whole new decade, Classic Blue arrives to impart a sense of dependability and reassurance. This deep blue is classic, elegant and timeless. The sensation that this color gives the viewer is a bit of a surprise since it’s a color we are used to having around us.

According to The Pantone Institute, that exactly was the main idea. To have a color that stands out while also being familiar. It gives everyone the feeling of a good foundation of faith and peace.


From 2019 to 2007

As every Color of the Year comes along, the influence over design and society as a whole grows in strides. With the spread of online marketing and social media, the Pantone Color of the Year gains more and more recognition. Pantone is no stranger to trends and they have been incorporating all kinds of creative solutions with every color that is announced.

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