Colour – In the tongue-in-cheek book L’uomo di Marketing e la variante al limone – The marketing man and the lemon variation – Walter Fontana takes a piss at the marketing business narrating the backstage of the launch of a lemon flavored washing up liquid. After months of brainstorming, the involvement of super-expensive super experts and uncountable Power Point presentations and meetings, the company X comes to a brilliant epiphany: the washing up liquid should be yellow.
Likewise, the team of trend-arbiters and professional in color language hired by influential colour company Pantone® declared that Classic Blue is the colour of the year. Nor Cobalt, Navy blue or any specific shade of blue. But the plain tone that pops to your mind when you’re asked to picture something blue.
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Aaccording to Pantone®, Classic Blue is “a timeless and enduring hue elegant in its simplicity. Suggestive of the sky at dusk, the reassuring qualities of the thought-provoking PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue highlight our desire for a dependable and stable foundation from which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”
“It encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication.” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.
Nicely put. Still, blue is blue. But what could smell as a lazy, easy pick, allows the company to sell a basic color as trend. The Limited Edition Pantone® Colour Guides costs 175$. On top of that, pr companies and designers eager jump on the hype train will propose Classic Blue-hued products, boosting Pantone® brand awareness.
Forget Classic Blue, this marketing strategy is truly visionary!
Design Indaba competition 2019: photo from Colour field exhibition @ Southern Guild – © Southernguild.