Pantone’s Color of the Year 2020, Classic Blue, Adds Calm & Comfort

Pantone announces Classic Blue (19-4052) as its Color of the Year 2020. It’s a timeless hue, suggestive of the sky at dusk. Its simplicity is described in a press release announcing the color as highlighting desire for a dependable and stable foundation from which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era. Classic Blue “is a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, in the release.

As a provider of professional language standards and digital solutions, Pantone colors are used throughout every industry by brands and manufacturers. The color of the year is selected by Pantone Color Institute color experts looking at influences from all parts of life and the world.

“As we enter a new decade, Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year, Classic Blue, provides a calming anchor for people seeking comfort and stability in the spaces that surround us,” says Renee Hytry Derrington, global design lead at Formica Corporation. “Classic Blue is a bold, boundless hue that works in just about every commercial space as a neutral or a feature color.”

Classic Blue is a Multisensory Experience

For the first time, the color announcement is accompanied by a multisensory approach that includes not just the sight of the Color of the Year, but also the taste, texture, scent and sound of the selected shade.

By extending the sensory reach of Classic Blue, Pantone hopes to reach a greater diversity of people to provide everyone with an opportunity to engage with the Color of the Year 2020 in their own way, according to the company’s press release.

The five multisensory elements include:

1. Sight: Classic Blue is seen as a restful color that brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge. A reflective blue tone, Classic Blue fosters resilience.

2. Sound: The sound of Classic Blue is nostalgic and takes one to a place that is comforting and familiar. Named “Vivid Nostalgia,” it utilizes traditional instruments treated in innovative ways, bridging the gap between past and present.

3. Texture: The feel of the Color of the Year 2020 fabric translates into a soft, velvety texture, further emphasizing the calming quality of the color, while eliciting feelings of empowerment to expand the mind and build foundation for the future. 

4. Taste: The taste of Classic Blue holds the experiential smell of fresh green, the initial taste of fruity, sweet berry, and the final finish of floral and Classic Blue notes.

5. Scent: The smell of the color is a fragrant contemplation of where sky and sea meet – a boundless blue where there is no end that elicits contemplation and a feeling of optimism for the future.

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Pantone collaborated with sensory experts from the music, food, fashion, beauty and technology industries to envision Classic Blue into different senses. Taken together, all of the sensory inputs have been designed to inspire creatives and consumers to think about color differently and to uncover new patterns and associations.

Pantone's Color of the Year 2020 is Classic Blue

“As society continues to recognize color as a critical form of communication, and a way to express and affect ideas and emotions, designers and brands should feel inspired to use color to engage and connect,” said Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute in a press release. “The Pantone Color of the Year selection 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.”

More Colors of the Year 2020

Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, notes the similarities between Pantone’s shade and the Sherwin-Williams color of the year for 2020, Naval, a navy it calls both a timeless neutral and impact color.

“Deep blues like their Classic Blue and our own 2020 Color of the Year, Naval SW 6244, are poised to carry us into the next decade,” she says. “Relaxing, assuring shades of navy add a calm confidence to any space.”

Read more from our 2020 color of the year coverage:

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