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PANTONE: Everything Peachy for 2024

The 2024 Colour of the Year has been announced by Pantone as Peach Fuzz 13-1023. What does this mean? How can someone decide that this is the Colour of the Year and why is it important to both consumers and businesses? Also, who are Pantone and how do they have the authority to provide an answer to this subjective topic?


Peach Fuzz?

The 2024 Colour of the Year ‘Peach Fuzz’, formulated by Pantone, is setting the tone for the next 365 days as a year for self-care, community, and stillness. This colour is a stark contrast to the 2023 colour of the year ‘Viva Magenta’, which has connotations of fearlessness, strength, and bravery drawn from its red-pink undertones. The imagery surrounding Viva Magenta is boundary breaking, using AI and vibrant, hot pink, fantasy scenes. Meanwhile, Peach Fuzz uses warm and realistic natural images that bring us down to earth.


Maybe the current cost of living crisis means people feel the need to slow down and return to focusing on themselves? The wellness industry is valued at $5.6trillion, according to The Global Wellness Institute, evidencing that we are globally investing in the culture of ‘wellness’. The idea of ‘wellness’ has its origins in the 1950s, when Dr Halbert L.Dunn coined the term – but perhaps now we are investing in a slower type of wellness. That is, wellness that revolves around people and community, the strength that togetherness brings us, the calm of stillness and considered actions. In contrast to searching for wellness through spending money, we are practising self-care through spending time.



How do Pantone choose the colour?

The colour Peach Fuzz has been chosen through research into current global cultures and micro-colour trends, as well as forecasting analysis. Pantone prides itself on its team’s informed research into their colour predictions without bias preferences. The analysts come from various professional and personal backgrounds and are constantly having colour conversations within their vocations. This constant chatter around colour allows the narrative to change and build throughout the year before the decision is made. I think this approach to researching such an ambiguous concept means the choice of Colour of the Year can follow the rapidly changing nature of global culture.


What is Pantone?

Pantone originated as a printing company in the 1950s and developed into the authority on colour as we know it today. The company is known for its Pantone Matching System which allows colour to be transferred between mediums throughout a design process. For example, allowing the transferral of a digital fashion design to a physical garment and a photograph in a magazine. These properties (screen, fabric, and print) all behave differently in relation to colour. Therefore, Pantone can consistently mix the same colour while altering the formula for different materials. Businesses look to this company for their expertise in colour science and ways of increasing engagement through colour. According to Pantone, the right colour can increase brand recognition by up to 87%. Certain companies have trademarked colours so that their shade is exclusively linked to the specific brand, such as the iconic Tiffany Blue (named 1837 Blue after the company’s founding year) and Barbie Pink being owned by Mattel.


What is the Colour of the Year and why is it important?

‘Pantone Colour of the Year’ started in 1999 and was used to create a community of researchers and designers to link current global culture to colour. The intrinsic link between colour and emotion impacts how consumers behave towards a product; colour can inform culture as well as culture informing colour. This concept is not designed to force this year’s Peach Fuzz into the micro-trend cycle. Rather, it aims to note the similarities the shade has with the current global mood and to mirror lifestyle trends. Pantone educates businesses and the public about the importance of the use of colour: how we use it in presenting our self-image and how it affects the individual using this colour. The research carried out by Pantone that informs this decision involves a long-term view, and, often, predicted Colours of the Year have unintentionally become trends for future years.


 Words + Image: Megan Abrahams, she/her


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