Colour company Pantone named Very Pery as its Colour of the Year for 2022. We should then expect to see many purple-tinted products, adverts and news. Do colour trends develop organically, or are they induced by marketing? From copyright battles to Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ tribute and Tiffany’s iconic turquoise… Archipanic shows the true colours of marketing starting from periwinkle-hued chronicles.
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Very Pery: 2022 Pantone’s colour of the year
Since 2000, Pantone has mastered the art of trend-setting by announcing a colour of the year. A group of experts in the language of colour sifted pop culture, food, fashion, technology and product design to name Very Pery – a dynamic periwinkle blue hue with a vivifying violet-red undertone – the colour of the upcoming year. “Blending the faithfulness and constancy of blue with the energy and excitement of red, this happiest and warmest of all the blue hues introduces an empowering mix of newness.” Explain at Pantone.
Every year across the globe, millions of creatives not linked to each other innovate using thousands of different colours. Therefore, saying a single hue predominates – or incarnates the symbol of the global zeitgeist – sounds entirely arbitrary and even a bit arrogant… Or a merely strategic hype. Indeed, Very Pery and the previous colours of the year support Pantone’s 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,” said to FastCo Design Laurie Pressman, VP at Pantone Color Institute.
The Very Pery announcement came with a fair load of storytelling, pushing all the right buttons and trending keywords. “As we emerge from an intense period of isolation, our notions and standards are changing, and our physical and digital lives have merged in new ways. Digital design helps us stretch the limits of reality, opening the door to a dynamic virtual world where we can explore and create new color possibilities. With trends in gaming, the expanding popularity of the metaverse and the rising artistic community in the digital space PANTONE® 17-3938 Very Peri illustrates the fusion of modern life and how color trends in the digital world are being manifested; in the physical world and vice versa.”
We rounded up some colour-marketing stories and battles so far.
Prince’s Purple tribute by Pantone
Pantone has also “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, the owner of British confectionery company Cadbury, lost a legal fight with Nestlé to enforce UK trademark 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 chocolate as you want, but don’t even think to touch my hues!
Can anyone own black holes’ pure darkness?
Blackest is the new black! Earlier this year, British artist Anish Kapoor acquired exclusive rights to the revolutionary Vantablack pigment, the blackest shade of black ever created. The hue 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.
NanoBlack and NASA challenged Vantablack by releasing a light-absorbing super-black that was originally developed to reduce glare on space equipment. While Vantaback can be used only by Anish Kapoor, Singularity Black has been made available to the general public.
For the 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 the mobile company Orange’s orange and, of course, Purple’s purple.