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Pantone’s 2023 Color of the Year is an ‘unconventional shade for an unconventional time’

The color is bold, fearless and vibrant

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The color of the year is Pantone 18-1750 Viva Magenta.

An illustration with the color of the year — Pantone 18-1750 Viva Magenta.


Pantone announced its 2023 color of the year: Viva Magenta.

The shade isn’t synthetic, like Barbie pink, but a color rooted in nature, said Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman.

Descending from the red family, Viva Magenta, or Pantone 18-1750, is nearly 150 years old

It is meant to signal strength, vigor and fearlessness, “whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative,” Eiseman said.

A tweet from Pantone called the color “an unconventional shade for an unconventional time.”

How does Pantone pick the color of the year?

The 2021 shade was a dull duo of pebble-y grey and highlighter yellow, while the 2020 pick was a calming blue, a contrast to the new 2023 color of the year and a great pairing with Very Peri, the purple shade from 2022.

“We are creating a dynamic world that encourages experimentation, one that leverages the virtual within the physical realm and emboldens our strength and spirit to explore groundbreaking possibilities,” said Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, per Business of Fashion.

Usually, the institute studies trends throughout the year and decides on the color of the year after considering fashion, marketing, internet trends and politics.

Even though the Barbiecore color, a hot pink, made waves — especially after the Valentino campaign, which Pressman said that Pantone worked on — it didn’t make it as next year’s ultimate choice.

“We love the impactful statement made by Barbiecore, but we feel that this is the bigger picture play,” Pressman added, per USA Today. “I don’t want to minimize the hot pink because to me, the biggest statement about that was embracing life. That’s also a very celebratory, standout statement.” 

Why does the color of the year matter?

The color of the year usually includes product development across industries, from fashion to interior design.

The company has already partnered with Motorola, Spoonflower and Cariuma to release products in the Viva Magenta shade, but the idea isn’t to push a specific shade onto the masses. Instead, it’s to “help companies and consumers better understand the power color can have,” Pressman explained in another interview.

“We want to teach them how to leverage color’s power and expressiveness to influence perception — whether it be to create a more successful design strategy that will increase consumer engagement, or to use it to better showcase your own personal identity,” she added.