living coral: pantone’s color of the year 2019

living coral: designing with pantone’s color of the year 2019


It’s finally here! Pantone has officially announced their Color of the Year for 2019: Living Coral. What does this mean for the world of design in the year ahead?

The Pantone Color Institute took to social media to reveal the 2019 Color of the Year is Living Coral, or to use the official Pantone code: 16-1546.

Sunny tropic scenes, shells, soothing coral reefs, golden shores… These are just a few things that come to mind when we think of Living Coral.

We can probably all agree it’s a bold and beautiful shade, and definitely a step-up from last year’s cosmic purple, Ultra Violet, and 2017’s Greenery hue.

And with previous years, we know Pantone’s Color of the Year has a vision:

“An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone and enlivens with a softer edge.”




what is pantone color of the year?



Each year, the biggest name in color chooses a hue that’s inspired by the year ahead. The Pantone Color Institute have a very selective process when choosing Color of the Year. Taking into account everything from color trends, art, fashion design, interior, culture and more. The Color of the Year represents a global snapshot of the year, encapsulated in a single hue.

This year, Pantone have chosen a bold, bright, pink powerhouse — Living Coral — as their Color of the Year.




so, how will living coral be used in design?



Colors can evoke a range of emotions, feelings and reactions. Although there’s an element of color psychology, our experiences can change our emotions towards certain shades, attracting or repelling us from others.

So what does this mean for the newly appointed fiery-blush hue in the world of design? And how can designers and businesses alike incorporate this bold new tone into their projects in the coming year? We asked three of our team members to find out.




the creative director’s take on living coral

bobby mccarthy, creative director



To be completely honest, my initial reaction to Living Coral was cheerful! I first thought it was kind of dated; ’80s coral swimsuits, lipstick and nail polish and other fashion trends, but then I took into account how I’ve used coral and similar peachy tons in color palettes. It’s a really unique and uplifting color resonating with good vibes.

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear Living Coral are beautiful reefs in Key West, and the multitude of sea creatures living there. I feel like Living Coral exudes warmth and has connotation of human connection, making it quite comforting.

I’ve also heard that 2019 is the year of the pig in the Chinese zodiac. Colors that are considered to be lucky and influential in 2019 are all from the fire element. This includes pink, orange and red — all which are very warm colors within the same realm as Living Coral.

Living Coral will work great in Graphic Design. It’s soothing with pretty much any tint or shade of blue, and together they create a kind of idyllic feeling of positivity and happiness.




living coral in graphic design

emma mason, graphic designer



When I think of the color coral, my mind is transported to a familiar childhood place, where it’s warm and bright.

To tie the color coral to a particular memory, it reminds me of my visits to Biscayne National Park where the vivid coral reefs work magnificently against the school of colorful fish in the foreground. It’s a scene to behold, and I definitely recommend a visit.

Coral is a proud, bold shade that pairs well with both dark and light colors. This makes it extremely versatile and easy to use in its application. I could definitely see this being used in accents and details on a range of products to make them part of a collection, or to create an easily recognizable color palette.




ux design’s view on living coral

raul garcia



When I think of Living Coral, I’m imagining myself lying on a sunny beach under a palm tree, sipping a cocktail the same color out of a coconut. It’s bold, playful and yet somehow relaxing at the same time. Maybe it’s just the name ‘Living Coral’ but I’m definitely getting some tropical vibes from this Color of the Year.

Have you seen a pig blush? I have. This is the exact color of their cheeks. I gotta say though, I think Monzo was here first — the color is strikingly similar to their iconic ‘hot coral’ bank cards I’ve seen all across the UK.

I can see this being a great color for building a brand. Be mindful though when using it on your interfaces. It’s quite lively, so too much of it might distract the user’s attention. Putting key actions in this color can help make it more prominent, but be sure there’s enough contrast with text you put over it so that it’s easy enough to read!

About the author

Luis Marrero

I have built and sold several eCom and B2C businesses over the past five years which was a stepping stone into creating a full-service SEO agency servicing medium to large sized companies, including multiple Fortune 500s and government agencies. In my spare time, you can find me rebuilding 6.2L V8 NA engines by Mercedes-AMG.

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