June 18, 2018 • Sarah Schwartz
The Color Wheel: Ultra Violet

To the Future, Expressively

Pantone’s Color of The Year is rich in both mystery and mindfulness

A horse gets the folk treatment in this Cynla offering.

Pantone established Ultra Violet as its 2018 Color of the Year, and despite its dark nature, it serves as a beacon while conquering any challenge. Communicating originality and ingenuity, it evokes musical icons Prince and Jimi Hendrix, tipping its hat to the counterculture, experimentation and non-conformity.

But this shade has been a while coming, emphasized Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director at the Pantone Color Institute and Director, Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training. “The purple family has been a steady grower ever since Radiant Orchid [was named Pantone Color of the Year] in 2014. Radiant Orchid has more of a red/pink base and Ultra Violet leans more to the blue side, making the color a bit more contemplative, intuitive, insightful, thoughtful, significantly attached to mindfulness — more ‘cerebral.’”

Ultra Violet’s vibe varies according to its finish. “A sheen adds more excitement to the color, while a matte finish is less eye-arresting,” underscored Eiseman, who recently published her 10thbook, The Complete Color Harmony. “However, color must always be thought of in terms of context— how and where is it to be used— and that will help to establish the finish as well as the color.”

Always enigmatic, Ultra Violet’s mood spans from romantic to calm depending its color pairings. Pantone’s palette Kindred Spirits, encompassed of shades of purple and pink, evokes frothy playfulness; meanwhile, Desert Sunset, pairing Ultra Violet with warm reds and oranges, is dramatic but still subdued.

Expect Ultra Violet to extend into at least next year, finished Eiseman. “As we’ve seen in the past, once consumers see the color of the year and the variety of usages, they become more accustomed to it and openly seek it out, and there are always those who follow trends, and they lead the way with the usage of the color. And that’s what trends are all about — pushing the “refresh” button!” — SS

Letterpressed blooms from Alee & Press is printed by hand in the U.S.
Floral wheel ink pads from Clearsnap Holding can be removed or used together.
Mechanical pencils in Vera Bradley’s Medallion pattern are from Lifeguard Press.
petals & pins card was created by photographing fresh garden blooms.
Pocket Notebook from Sloane Stationery through Karen Alweil Studio has gilded pages and lizard embossing.
Justina Blakeney card is from Studio Oh!
Tay Ham lovingly depicts one of the driving forces behind Ultra Violet.
Birthday card is from The Alison Gordon Studio.
Peachy design is from The Imagination Spot.


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