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Color of the Year 2020 - Maximalism and rich colors

Julia Bernert

Published on 20.01.2020

Pantone chooses “Classic Blue” as the color of the year 2020 and thus makes a social statement.

Colors are versatile and expressive. They can calm or stir up, create dislike or admiration and are therefore a very powerful instrument in the visual world. The color company Pantone has long been aware of the emotional effect on people. For more than two decades it has been selecting the colors of the coming year during the winter season to point out trends and offer inspiration.

With their choice of colors, the experts of the Pantone Color Institute have a major influence on fashion, design and industry – the trend color will be found in many products the following year. The company bases its decision on a careful analysis of influences from the film and art scene, the fashion and entertainment industry as well as design, lifestyle, tourism and society. Factors from sports, technology or social media are also included in the analysis.

It is not without reason that color trends are also a good indicator of current social trends. According to Pantone, after the focus on minimalism, rapid change and digitalization in recent years, it is clear that people are once again longing for more security, peace and stability. In the new decade and the rapidly changing world, according to color psychology, one color in particular reflects this desire: Classic Blue (#19-4052).

Similar to an evening sky just before nightfall, the deep, cool blue is intended to anchor the viewer in the here and now and provide a sense of security in turbulent times. Nevertheless, it can be easily combined with bright, gaudy colors and encourages you to expand your own horizons.

Lou Weiss, Chief Marketing Officer at Shutterstock, also sees a clear shift towards high-quality, strong and rich colors. Similar to Pantone, the stock supplier makes an annual color trend forecast. Shutterstock analyzes the trends based on the download and image selection of more than 1.9 million customers who are working on campaigns for the coming year and are searching for images online. Shutterstock’s color favourites for 2020 are Lush Lava (#FF4500), Aqua Menthe (#7FFFD4) and Phantom Blue (#191970).

Shutterstock also publishes a report, which predicts global creative trends for the year based on keyword searches.