Does Pantone’s Color of the Year Affect Your Business?

Every year, Pantone® releases their “Color of the Year” and it sets the tone for the rest of the year in many industries. But does the Pantone Color of the Year apply to your business? Before we dive into the answer, let’s start with a little background.

Pantone Color Institute

The Pantone Color Institute is a leading source of color expertise that provides insights and solutions to a client’s color needs, according to their website. In addition to announcing the color of the year, they provide various publications that forecast trends that center around color. These forecasts are from six to 24 months in the future, giving businesses the opportunity to strategically plan how they can use color in upcoming projects. They’ve been in operation since 1963 and has been a staple for designers and artists looking for color inspiration and consulting.

How did the Color of the Year start?

In 1999, Pantone created a Color of the Year educational program designed to engage color enthusiasts and the design community in conversation. Since then, each year a global team of color experts look at various influences from around the world and works together to decide on the upcoming year’s color.

Each year brings a different color (or in the case of 2021, two colors) that represents a shared experience seen throughout the fabric of society. Color is one of the most powerful tools in marketing. Setting a Color of the Year helps remind people of that power and how they can utilize color in their own lives.

Pantone adopts a subscription model

Toward the end of 2022, Pantone and Adobe decided to remove the outdated libraries of Pantone colors from Adobe products, rendering some of the colors in older files black. Now, those seeking to use the Pantone colors must pay a monthly or annual subscription to access the colors and use them with Adobe products (the industry standard for design tools).

While some workarounds do exist, they are often subpar. One notable exception, however, is the bridge Pantone Formula Guide books which range in price and sometimes exceed several hundred dollars in cost. These books allow designers and creatives to see what CMYK formula is necessary to make a particular PMS color. Because some of the colors will change depending on the type of printing paper, designers should get both the solid coated and solid uncoated versions of the Pantone Formula Guide.

sample color chip of Viva Magenta, Pantone's® Color of the Year 2023
Viva Magenta, Pantone's® Color of the Year 2023 (courtesy of Pantone®)​

What does it mean for your business?

Though Pantone’s latest color of the year—Viva Magenta—may not be your favorite, there are ways you can implement it in your marketing strategy. Every year, the popularity of Pantone’s Color of the Year programs grows, which means it carries recognition amongst potential and current clients.

From the use of the color on marketing materials to accents on your website to actual limited-edition products—there are countless ways the Pantone Color of the Year can be incorporated into your business. Its inclusion signals not only that you’re with the times, but that you’re always looking to what’s coming up in the future. Clients like that.

Integrating it into your business can be tricky. And expensive. But, with guidance from the team at Crystal Peak Design, you can be sure that Viva Magenta will be incorporated into your business in a meaningful and effective way. To set up a call today to learn more, click the button below or email