Pantone’s 2018 Colour of the Year is no shrinking violet

With a prolific nod to the feminist movement, Pantone’s Colour of the Year is a complex and contemplative shade that promises to “push boundaries through creative outlets” in 2018.

Ultra Violet 18-3838, the tone that’s set to shape the year ahead, has been described as “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful shade”.

The panel tasked with the annual process of selecting the shade have also dubbed Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2018 enigmatic, thought-provoking and meditative.

While the Pantone Colour Institute’s 2017 pick, Greenery, brought Kermit the Frog and some very questionable Crocs to mind, this year’s UltraViolet appears to be inspiring many with the complex social and political undertones behind the mystical hue.

The blue-based purple makes for a versatile colour palette. Picture: Pantone

The Colour of the Year announcement came shortly after Time Magazine named ‘The Silence Breakers’ behind the #MeToo campaign as Person of the Year, honouring the countless women who took to social media with their own stories of sexual harassment to highlight the magnitude of the problem.

“The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today,” says Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute.

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, agrees.

“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level.

“From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.”

When it comes to using the tone in your interiors, the colour authority believes UltraViolet can “transform a room into one of extraordinary self-expression”.

Pops of purple in the hallway help to provide the warmest of welcomes. Picture: Tamara Graham

Or, on the other hand when it’s subdued, modern pops of the tone can bring an air of luxury and comfort to any space.

“Adding spice and brightness, UltraViolet calls attention to a tufted couch, a piece of art or accent wall,” Pantone says.

“As a colour that can take you in so many directions, Ultra Violet makes a statement in any space, whether it’s one of tradition and elegance or unexpected boldness.”

Thinking about bringing a little UltraViolet into your abode? You don’t need to erect a giant, galaxy mural on your ceiling (unless, of course, that’s your thing!).

Interior design consultant Kylie Schlick shares how to inject the hue of tomorrow.

“This shade is best used in interiors in subdued pops – think beautiful, velvet cushions, a splash of artwork on the wall, or decorative vases on a sideboard. It can create a real statement when mixed with on-trend tones such as orange/terracotta or emerald green.”

So how will Pantone’s choice influence the decorative decisions of homemakers in the year ahead?

“I feel like this could see a shift in homewares and interior trends to some even bolder statements,” Kylie adds.

“We have already seen plenty of pieces and schemes coming through embodying rich, jewel-like tones, and I imagine this colour might propel this trend even further.”

Originally published as Pantone’s 2018 Colour of the Year is no shrinking violet by Katie Skelly. Author at