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Pantone Colour of the Year 2019 Living Coral In Use

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

Sociable, energetic and authentic, these are some of the themes behind Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2019, also known as "Living Coral" (PANTONE 16-1546).

Every year, the Pantone colour experts choose "the colour of the year" based on current cultural trends around the world. It’s a colour trend that is set to influence fashion, interior design, homeware and graphic design to name a few. Recent past colours to have been chosen include Ultra Violet in 2018, Greenery in 2017 and Serenity (pale blue) and

Rose Quartz (pastel pink) in 2016.

2019´s "Living Coral", a peachy shade of orange with a golden undertone, is expected to be the key colour trend for the next 12 months.

Vibrant, yet mellow, Living Coral is described by Pantone as:

An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.

Meaning Behind It

The Pantone colour of the year is chosen based on "what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time". Topics popular today are our increasing social and environmental concerns. Living Coral, in part, draws its inspiration from these two areas.

As its name implies, Living Coral is based on the natural pigmentation of one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth – coral reefs. Full of colour and life, coral reefs provide protection, shelter and nourishment for a wide variety of marine life.

Coral Reef Indian Ocean
Credit: Warren Baverstock / Coral Reef Image Bank

Connections to nature appear regularly in colour trends and although the colour has been well received it has also been met with some criticism due to the fact that the world´s “living” coral is quickly dying. While the colour focuses on the beauty we see in nature it does highlight the importance of preserving the environment. If it gets people talking and creates awareness to the environmental issues corals are facing today then it is a step in the right direction.

The second key inspiration is related to digital technology.

Today we live in a world where we rely on digital technology and social media which is dehumanizing a lot of things and making our interactions colder. Living Coral with its warm energy is an easy colour for people to feel connected to. It´s friendly, sociable and it symbolises our need to humanize interactions through light-hearted activity.

"In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy."

Whether or not you are on board with these concepts, one thing is for sure,

it is a stunning colour.

Living Coral in Use

With Living Coral set as the trending colour for 2019 we can expect to see variations of this hue popping up everywhere. Let´s see how this vibrant hue can be used across various industries.

Living Coral in Fashion

In the world of Fashion & Beauty, Living Coral is a lively and warm colour that evokes positivity, works well on both men and women and complements all skin tones.

A bubbly hue, Living Coral

“is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color.”

Living Coral in Interior Design

A cheerful, natural and versatile hue, Living Coral adds personality to all areas of the home.

Living Coral in Interior Design
Furniture: Karim Rashid – MAIORI Kose Collection / Textiles: Kravit / Blender: KitchenAid

Living Coral in Innovation

A vibrant colour, Living Coral fits right in with the bright “saturated” colour trend that has exploded across the internet over the last two years. More and more designers are exploring innovative and brave colour combinations which capture visitors attention and sets brands apart from the more traditional web-safe colours.

Living Coral is a warm, energetic hue that communicates activity and encourages authentic connection. Expect to see this hue on websites, applications, smartphone screens, social media and gadgets...

Living Coral in Graphic Design & Packaging

As the key colour trend for 2019 many designers will be jumping on the Living Coral bandwagon. Although it is a trending colour it is important to think about how it resonates with your target audience. Colour trends are great for inspiration but, from a designer’s point of view, it´s not so much about how it´s used in isolation but how variations of this hue are used in innovative colour combinations.

Blues and teals are the strongest complimentary colours to Living Coral making it pop.

It also works well when paired with warm colours such as yellows, reds and pinks. For a more earthy feel combine it with taupes and greys. Combine it with black or charcoal for a contemporary feel.

Living Coral also has a retro feeling to it, evoking a nostalgic vibe.

A vibrant and warm colour Living Coral definitely has a summery vibe.

It can equally be toned down to give it an earthy terracotta tone.

Living Coral Colour Formula

Pantone 2019 Living Coral Color Formula

Colour Pairings

Living Coral is a dynamic and vibrant colour that works well with numerous shades and colour combinations. To inspire your next design, Pantone has created five different colour palettes that feature PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral.

You can also download the Living Coral Palettes as .ase files to load into Adobe CC software however, the colours specified are for PANTONE FASHION + HOME system. For print design and web you would need to convert these swatches to CMYK, RGB or find a Pantone PMS equivalent. Check out more of Pantone´s amazing tools for designers


Pantone Living Coral - Focal Point Palette



Pantone Living Coral - Shimmering Sunset Palette



Pantone Living Coral - Sympatico Palette



Pantone Living Coral - Trippy Palette



Pantone Living Coral - Under the Sea Palette



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