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Pantone Colour of the Year 2020: Classic Blue


The wide blue yonder

The Pantone Color Institute recently announced the colour of the year: Classic Blue (19-4052). Bringing to mind soothing images of the twilight sky and the ocean, this choice comes from a global craving for calm, confidence and connection as we enter an anxious new era of environmental uncertainty.

“We are living in a time that requires trust and faith,” said Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute. “What’s the future going to bring as we move into the evening hours?”

Each year, the colour is decided through a meticulous process of lifestyle and industry trends. The Institute combs the world looking for colour influences in the entertainment industry, film production, art collections, artists, fashion, design, travel, lifestyle, technology, social media and socioeconomic conditions.

La Fin du Monde

The Institute has gone full circle, as the very first Pantone colour of the year selected in 1999 was another shade of blue: cerulean. It came from an end-of-the-world mentality, as the Year 2000 loomed. It was widely thought that a coding glitch was going to crash computer systems on a worldwide scale, unlocking prison gates and dropping planes from the sky.

“We were moving into Y2K and wondering: Is the world going to fall apart?” said Pressman. The sky-blue of cerulean represented a yearning for some serenity, which felt so uncertain at the time.

Pantone said this year it recognised a similar global anxiety of instability due to climate change, humanitarian crises, political corruption and exponential technological advancement, and classic blue offers the reassurance and confidence people yearn for in uncertain times.

The moody blues

Classic, elegant and timeless in its simplicity, the psychology of the colour blue has long been recognised for having a calming effect on mood. It’s non-threatening and conservative, associated with stability, reliability and even refuge. It’s also said to increase efficiency in workplaces with research showing that people are more productive in blue rooms.

Into the blue

To incorporate classic blue into your 2020 interior, consider accent pieces, like art dominated by blue, vases, candles, cushions, linens, sofas or rugs. You could also paint a room or feature wall in classic blue to let the soothing ambience take centre stage. But remember that reactions to colours are highly personal, connected to memories and experiences. Take note of how the colour and its variations make you feel so you can select the right shade for your space.

Get inspired

To find more ideas and inspiration for infusing the Pantone colour of 2020 into your indoor and outdoor living areas, visit us in-store and online. Blue’s not your thing? Think pink! It’s not just for girls. Check out more in our Pretty in Pink blog post.


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