With the decade finally coming to an end, the Pantone Color Institute (a color strategist synonymous with design, fashion, and upcoming trends) has announced its 21st consecutive Color of the Year.
Contrasting recent bright hues, like 2019’s Living Coral and 2018’s Ultra Violet, the newest pick, Classic Blue, brings back a notion of stability. The rich, deep blue isn’t quite navy, but evokes images of the sky just as it reaches dusk.
Pantone gravitates towards blues as decades shift. The millennium started off with a lighter shade, Cerulean, and 2010 began with its aqua-tinged cousin Turquoise.
But despite Classic Blue’s selling points—“elegant in its simplicity,” per a press release from Pantone—perhaps the most pointed reason for choosing this reliable shade was to steer away from last year’s color controversy. Living Coral was criticized by some as being an insensitive action in the face of the climate crisis. Now, the architecture and design magazine Dezeen says a dependable blue might be an attempt at avoiding another accidental political misstep.
Whether or not Pantone is making amends with past decisions, the calming blue is already hitting the frontlines of fashion and interior design. Continuing with a reflective and meditative theme, Pantone recommends pairing the hue with warm neutrals like beige and peach. For a more vibrant approach, baby pink, gold, and emerald greens pair nicely as well.
See the slideshow for the latest products sporting the decade-inspiring hue.