Pantone's Color of the Year Evokes 'Counterculture Flair'
Congratulations, 'Ultra Violet'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 7, 2017 9:56 AM CST
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This image provided by the Pantone Color Institute shows the Pantone Color of the Year for 2018, called "Ultra Violet."   (Pantone Color Institute via AP)

(Newser) – What we have here in 2017 is a heap of chaos and disruption. What we need in 2018? The Pantone Color Institute thinks whatever that might be will come in the deep purple hue of "Ultra Violet," its color of the year revealed Thursday. The color wasn't chosen because it's regal: It was chosen to evoke a counterculture flair, a grab for originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking, Pantone VP Laurie Pressman tells the AP. "We are living in complex times," she says. "We're seeing the fear of going forward and how people are reacting to that fear." Pressman wasn't necessarily talking politics, however. Instead, she says, the color playing out in home design, industrial spaces and products, fashion, art, and food reflects the idea of living not inside the box or outside the box but with no box at all. 'Ultra Violet' follows 2017's "Greenery," a grassy fresh, revitalizing shade that reflected new beginnings.

Ultra Violet leans more to blue than red, and that, Pressman says, "speaks to thoughtfulness, a mystical quality, a spiritual quality." The color played a role in logos used by the women's suffrage movement of the early 1900s in Britain, lent a flash to flappers in the 1920s, and has popped up in art through history, including that of Keith Haring and Andy Warhol. Fast-forward to Jimi Hendrix and his "Purple Haze," the penultimate song he played in concert days before his 1970 death. The purple choice, a la Prince and the glam rock of David Bowie, speaks to rebellion, finding new ways to interpret our lives and surroundings, Pressman adds. "When you think of this color, she perfectly sums up the originality, the inventiveness, the forward thinking, the non-conformity," she notes.


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