Colour company Pantone named Ultra Violet as its Colour of the Year for 2018. We should then expect to see many purple-tinted products, adverts and news. Are colour trends shaped organically or induced by marketing? From copyright battles to Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ tribute to Tiffany’s iconic turquoise… Archipanic shows the true colours of marketing starting from violet chronicles.
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Ultra Violet: 2018 Pantone colour of the year
Since 2000 Pantone masters the art of trend-setting by announcing a colour of the year – and Ultra Violet is the 2018 one, according to a group of experts in the language of colour who sifted pop culture, food, fashion, technology and product design. Technically speaking, ultraviolet is not a color but an electromagnetic radiation invisible to the human eye – but, according to Pantone, it’s a hue “communicating originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us towards the future”.
Every single year across the globe, millions of creatives not necessarily linked with each others innovate using thousands of different colours. Therefore, saying a single hue predominates could be quite arbitrary… Or merely strategic. Indeed, Ultra Violet and the previous colours of the year support Pantone marketing strategy. “Currently, we have 95% brand awareness among designers and design-minded customers, due in large part to the Color of the Year program,” says to FastCo Design Laurie Pressman, VP at Pantone Color Institute.
Prince’s Purple tribute by Pantone
Earlier this year, Pantone “created” a new colour in honour of pop icon Prince who passed away in 2016. Inspired by the musician’s purple Yamaha piano, which was supposed to go on tour with him before his death, the colour is intended to be “emblematic of Prince’s distinctive style”.
Cadbury’s purple turf wars
Mondelēz International, owner of British confectionery company Cadbury, lost a legal fight with Nestlé to enforce UK trade mark protection on milk chocolate products packaged in a shade of purple (Pantone 2685C). Mondelēz International which also holds a trademark for lilac for its Milka brand fought cases against alleged misuse in Poland and Argentina. Long story short: feel free to eat as much the chocolate as you want, but don’t even think to touch my hues!
Can anyone owns black holes’ pure darkness?
Blackest is the new black! Earlier this year, British artist Anish Kapoor acquired exclusive rights to the revolutionary Vantablack pigment, said to be the blackest shade of black ever created. The hue which was developed by NanoSystem for military purposes and reflects so little light, 99,67% precisely, that it’s described as the closest thing to a black hole.
In August, NanoBlack and NASA challenged Vantablack by releasing a light absorbing super-black which was originally developed to reduce glare on space equipment as well. While Vantaback can be used only by Anish Kapoor, Singularity Black has been made available to the general public.
For 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, Asif Khan will build a colourless building that will appear to be the darkest black to the human eye, especially when contrasted with snow. “It will be like you’re looking into the depths of space itself… As you approach the building that star field will grow to fill your entire field of view, and then you’ll enter as though you’re being absorbed into a cloud of blackness.” he told CNN.
Up your #pink! Anish Kapoor banned from using the pinkest pink
Can a single artist have the right to own a colour stopping colleagues from using it? In response to Anish Kapor’s ”selfish” Vantblack, British artist Stuart Semple created the pinkest pink – a pink paint pigment which repels light to effect a powerful fluorescence – and banned Kapoor from using it. But despite the ban, the Indian-born British artist has got his hands on Semple’s Pink shade and posted on Instagram his middle finger dipped in the paint with the caption “Up yours #pink”.
50 shades of trademark from Tiffany & Co to Purple
Legally speaking a color trademark means that that colour is the brand, but only in a specific market sector. For example, when you see a turquoise box for jewelry, it must be by Tiffany & Co only. The same hue can be freely used in other sectors. Other iconic trademarked colors are Barbie pink, T-Mobile Magenta or mobile company Orange’s orange and, of course, Purple’s purple.