The ocean is definitely calling.

By Marisa Spyker
December 06, 2018
Photo: Lisa Romerein; Stylist: Liz Strong

There are some trends that raise eyebrows, others that spark debate, and then there are those with which you nod along enthusiastically.

Pantone’s announcement of their 2019 Color of the Year, for us, is definitely one of those last moments. The color authority—whose crowning of the ultimate annual shade has become as anticipated as the Oscars in the design world—recently declared the uber-beachy Living Coral as its top hue.

Courtesy of Pantone

“Just as coral reefs are a source of sustenance and shelter to sea life, vibrant yet mellow Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral embraces us with warmth an nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment,” Pantone said in a press release.

The cheerful shade comes on the heels of 2018’s Pantone Color of the Year, Ultra Violet, which succeeded the limey Greenery of 2017 and dual pastel shades that took top honors in 2016. The choices, made by Pantone’s color forecasters, often reflect worldwide trends in design, lifestyle, art, and travel, as well as current socioeconomic conditions.

Courtesy of Pantone

Living Coral, according to Pantone, was selected in response to the onslaught of digital technology and social media in daily life and our desire for “authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy.”

“With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial Pantone Living Coral hit a responsive chord,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.

Related: Meet the Five Hottest Colors of Summer: 

On the coast, of course, coral is a longtime staple that feels appropriate even when it’s not exactly en vogue. We spied its growing universal appeal when we declared it one of our Hottest Colors of Summer in June. Now, as the shade (and, let’s be honest, coral reefs in general) gets its deserved time in the worldwide spotlight, we’re even more thrilled to see how coral grows in the fashion and design worlds next year.