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The Color of the Year, Living Coral, Celebrates Fun and Indulgence

When Pantone named Living Coral—a pinkish orange with golden undertones—as 2019’s Color of the Year, they explained the choice like this:

“Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.”

Created by Kuba Lu

Maybe “joyful” isn’t the first word that comes to your mind when you think of 2019. This is, after all, an
incredibly tense political moment. Like, massage-your-temples-while-reading-the-news tense. In fact, that tension may be the reason that online audiences respond to Living Coral. Considering that most Americans get the news from social media, at least sometimes, bright, Living Coral-colored social media content could act as a much-needed palate cleanser.

Setting Washington politics aside, consumers are feeling “optimistic” about the economy, and that’s affecting what they want to see in their social feeds. The clean, discreet logos and subtle color palettes of the recent past are on their way out, because what they signaled—thrift and pragmatism—is old news. After 10 years of minimalism, social audiences are starved for imagery that implies luxury and indulgence. Welcome to a new, coral-hued age of opulence.

Goodbye Minimalism

It seems that 2019 is the final resting place of the minimalist, practical design trends that rose out of the Great Recession. Some of the earliest adopters of Living Coral, like Apple (with the iPhone XR) and Bose (with the SoundLink Speaker II), sell high-end gadgets that all but the wealthiest consumers can only afford in boom times. That said, the color doesn’t signal expense so much as frivolity. Images of these products appeal to audiences not as frugal spenders choosing an investment piece, but instead as individuals who want and deserve a treat.

Created by Tomi Foldes

We’re All in Miami Now

It’s no coincidence that Pantone announced the Color of the Year in Miami, arguably the nation’s capital for decadence. The city’s aesthetics are perfect inspiration for the current design moment, as is Miami Vice, a product of another era of excess (the ‘80s).

Even outside of Miami, brands can bring its spirited, tropical vibe into their social feeds and ads. That could mean committing to a beachy color palette or photographing vibrant things and places, like this interior of a
new Philadelphia bar. Whatever methods creators may use to integrate Living Coral into their social media content, they’ll get the most engagement by striking the mood that consumers newly crave: unrestrained, impractical, and fun.

Ready to dive deeper into Living Coral? Come create with us.


Created by Wagner Oliveira


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