A vibrant hue that brings together our natural surroundings and our digital lives

Photo by Francisco Jesús Navarro Hernández/Unsplash

As each year closes, the Pantone Color Institute announces its pick for the next year’s Color of the Year — and in case you missed it, their pick for 2019 is Living Coral, described as “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer hue.”

What’s fascinating about how Pantone chooses its Color of the Year is that it doesn’t just look at industry trends — in art and design, fashion, entertainment — but also at the wider socioeconomic and cultural state of the world.

2018’s pick, Ultra Violet, was chosen because it “communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future” — sorely needed after a year full of political and social upheaval. It’s an imaginative, future-oriented hue with historical links to the spiritual, and the name itself is associated with the unfathomably wider galaxy.

In contrast, Living Coral reminds us of our roots here on earth— as a reminder of our natural surroundings, it grounds us in our own reality. Unlike the bold and mystical associations of Ultra Violet, Living Coral is warm, engaging, playful, and familiar.

Pantone says that it chose the color precisely for this reason: because it “embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment” and represents “authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy”. It’s also a very timely choice in a time of increasingly urgent warnings about the effects of climate change, especially on our world’s coral reefs.

And interestingly, even though it’s a reaction and a counterpoint to the ever-increasing omnipresence of the digital world, it also pays homage to such: it’s present in nature, yes, but it’s also a popular color in social media (just look at the peachy presets of your favorite influencers’ Instagram feeds). As such, as Pantone says, Living Coral truly “represents the fusion of modern life”.

Whether you agree with Pantone’s description or not, you’re sure to see a lot more of Living Coral in the next year. Want to get ahead of the pack? Here’s how you can start incorporating Living Coral into your wardrobe:

At Your Christmas Parties

If you’re looking to break away from traditional Christmas red and green at your office party or family reunion, consider going for a stand-out piece in coral instead — it’s definitely different, but still vibrant and festive.

On Your Face (Or Your Nails)

Coral lips have been pretty popular in the beauty world for a while now, so there’s already tons of products out in the market. It’s a great choice if you want something other than your everyday nude, but don’t want to go with a bold red or deep purple.

It’s also a great shade for your eyes, cheeks, and even nails — youthful and fresh-looking but still eye-catching.

On Your Vacay

Whether you’re heading for a winter wonderland or one of our local beach paradises on your Christmas vacation, you can definitely rock Living Coral. The shade just screams summer vibes, making for a cute swimsuit, or for adding some extra warmth to a cozy knit.

At The Gym

If you’re planning to actually make good on your new year’s resolution to hit the gym, might the vibrancy of the Color of the Year give you some extra energy?

On Weekends

If you feel like the color’s a little too bright for your super-corporate office, rock it on the weekends instead. Add some extra polish without sacrificing comfort in tailored shorts and breezy tops.