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Pantone announces 2022 color of the year: 'Very Peri'

This year, Pantone is going with a periwinkle that exhibits a “spritely, joyous attitude” that “encourages courageous creativity and imaginative expression.”
A periwinkle color
Known as the "global color authority," every year the color standards organization selects colors that are meant to serve as a reflection of what is happening in culture.Courtesy of Pantone
/ Source: TODAY

Pantone has officially revealed its color of the year for 2022: “Very Peri.”

This year’s color is a periwinkle blue with violet-red undertones — designed, the company says, with the glowing screens of our digital world in mind.

In a news release, Pantone representatives explain that the color of the year is meant to evoke the “transition we are going through.”

“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,” the release reads. “Digital design helps us to stretch the limits of reality, opening the door to a dynamic virtual world where we can explore and create new color possibilities.”

A periwinkle cotton swatch on a white background
This year's choice is a "dynamic periwinkle blue hue with a vivifying violet-red undertone that blends the faithfulness and constancy of blue with the energy and excitement of red." Courtesy of Pantone

In one particularly meta moment, Pantone notes that the “color trends in the digital world are being manifested in the physical world and vice versa.”

For the first time in the 22 years of the color of the year franchise, Pantone created a brand new color for the endeavor.

The periwinkle color is a departure from last year’s picks: “Ultimate Gray” and “Illuminating,” a bright yellow. The gray and yellow dichotomy was meant to “express a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.”

Pantone revealed "Illuminating" and "Ultimate Gray" as its color of the year for 2021.
Pantone revealed "Illuminating" and "Ultimate Gray" as its color of the year for 2021.Courtesy of Pantone

Every year, the Pantone Color Institute uses color theory to interpret trends — looking at fashion, design and “socio-economic conditions” for inspiration and clues, according to the release — before deciding on the color of the year.

Ironically, Pantone's 2019’s choice of “Classic Blue,” which was meant to reflect the sky at dusk, was intended to evoke the feeling of excitement as we entered a new decade. (To be fair, if Pantone had predicted a global pandemic in 2019 with a color of the year choice, we would've been shocked.)

Back to this year’s choice — which makes sense, as many office workers and students have spent much of the past two years behind their glowing blue computer screens at home — Pantone believes the periwinkle color will inspire people amid historic burnout and what’s being called the “Great Resignation.”

“The Pantone Color of the Year reflects what is taking place in our global culture, expressing what people are looking for that color can hope to answer,” Laurie Pressman, the vice president of the Pantone Color Institute said in a release. “Creating a new color for the first time in the history of our PANTONE Color of the Year educational color program reflects the global innovation and transformation taking place. As society continues to recognize color as a critical form of communication, and a way to express and affect ideas and emotions and engage and connect, the complexity of this new red violet infused blue hue highlights the expansive possibilities that lay before us.”

Undoubtedly, many of us are hoping Pressman’s predictions of “expansive possibilities” in the coming year are right —  here’s to hoping for a better 2022!