Soothing and Harmonious Classic Blue is the 2020 Color of the Year!

Classic Blue "brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit”.

Jan 21, 2020

(tyson4ik / Shutterstock.com)

Welcoming the new decade with a comforting dose of tranquility, global color trendsetter, Pantone, has chosen the calming Classic Blue shade or PANTONE 19-4052 as the color of the year for 2020. The company describes its color choice as "a reassuring presence instilling calm, confidence, and connection."

In a fast-moving world in which technology outpaces the human ability to process it all, Classic Blue evokes feelings of safety and calmness, an opportunity to relax and recenter thoughts.

Classic Blue has a noticeably different vibe to the bold and animating hue of 2019’s color of the year, Living Coral. As we conclude the rapid, often turbulent pace of the past ten years, Classic Blue seems perfect to set the tone for the decade ahead. 

In the official announcement, Laurie Pressman, Vice President at the Pantone Color Institute, explains, “It’s only natural that we gravitate toward colors that bring a sense of peace, clarity, and even protection. Suggestive of the sky at dusk, the reassuring qualities of PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation from which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”

Classic Blue may have made its debut as the color of the year for 2020, but its calming effects are nothing new. Research shows the link between color and our emotional experiences. Color doesn’t just impact our mood; it can even affect our behavior! 

A 2003 consumer report revealed that shoppers prefer a blue interior and would spend more time shopping in those stores versus ones with an orange interior.

When used strategically, blue can even improve public safety. Cities like Glasgow, Scotland and Nara, Japan saw a drop in street crime and suicide rates after installing blue streetlights throughout their municipalities. 

Pantone Color Institute predicts upcoming color trends and advises companies on color choices for brand and product development. In their words, “When 80% of human experience is filtered through the eyes, we understand that the choice of color is critical.” 

Public faith in institutions has dropped, and many desire a return to authenticity and calm. The Pantone Color Institute sees blue as a color refuge in times of increasing uncertainty. 

In its recent press release, Executive Director, Leatrice Eiseman elaborates, “We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue that we can always rely on…. Classic Blue 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.”

Perhaps this marks a step forward in the right direction. The world has become more reflective and self-aware. There’s a tangible shift from fake news to authenticity, from environmental crisis to sustainability, and from isolation to connection. This is a sentiment reflected by the cooling tones of the 2020 Color of the Year, Classic Blue.

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ALLISON MICHELLE DIENSTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR
Working from her laptop as a freelance writer, Allison lives as a digital nomad, exploring the world while sharing positivity and laughter. She is a lover of language, travel, music, and creativity with a degree in Chinese language and literature.