Choosing a color of the year is not easy, but maybe not for the reasons most people would expect. Many paint brands choose their color of the year as a way to generate more sales and engagement, but it’s never as easy as picking some colors from a board and voting on which one’s looks nicer.

There’s a lot of research and feedback involved in choosing a color of the year contender. Let’s take a look at how these colors are chosen, how they simultaneously follow trends and create them, and finally, how you can seek inspiration from them!

Besides, by learning some of the ways a color of the year is chosen, you too can find new ways to get inspired!

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Why choose a single color of the year?

Well, everyone loves “best of the year choices – that’s why every single year we have lists of the best movies, albums, etc. But since choosing a list of colors would be way too vague and subjective, a single color per year is a much cooler idea, since it makes it feel more special and unique to that year.

But from a marketing standpoint it’s also highly profitable. Paint brands always have increased sales of Pantone’s Color of the Year as soon as it’s announced, for example, so it’s a good way to direct a trend.

Pantone’s Color of the Year is already a big deal, but paint brands also like to choose their own color of the year – which according to them, also increases sales for that color.

But as we’ve already established, choosing a color isn’t as simple as picking a different one every year and calling it a day. It’s important the color choice says something about the year we’ve had and the times we’re living in – it’s important that it means something.

Cultural and social movements

One of the first things to be considered are cultural and social movements. Everything trending on pop culture, fashion, design, architecture – everything counts.

Just as one example, Pantone’s 2016 Color of the Year was the first ever blending of two shades: Rose Quartz and Serenity. They were chosen as a way to reflect the themes of gender diversity that became particularly relevant that year and still is to this day.

But it doesn’t end there. There are many different cultures around the world, every country has different trends and movements going on at all times, so it’s important to navigate the world when looking for a color to represent any given year.

Inspiration is everything

Researching cultures, trends and social movements is great, but there’s also another much easier and straightforward way to look for inspiration: the internet.

Places like Pinterest have tons and tons and tons of inspiration from everywhere in the world, and most importantly, from the people themselves. It’s good to know what professional designers and architects are doing in terms of color, but it’s also good to know what homeowners are going for.

Intuition speaks louder

It doesn't matter how much research is done, how many graphs are made and how many colors are contenders – at the end of the day, there’s no exact science.

What professionals do is work on their research, choose contenders, and then craft stories around them. They discuss their findings and ideas, but when all is said and done, choosing a color is more about intuition than rationale. Sure you can scientifically pick a color most people will like, we have statistics for everything nowadays – that’s how Netflix determines which episode has the most people giving up on a show to make sure something interesting happens on that particular episode right away.

But colors are not as easily predicted, because it’s not about a color that everyone will like. It’s not about pleasing everyone. It’s more of a statement, an idea, a concept to be understood by those who are looking for something unique.

Where can these colors be used?

Once you’ve taken a color of the year into consideration, it can be used for basically anything. Painting the walls, any piece of decoration you can imagine, and even web design for a personal blog or professional website. As long as you identify with that particular color, you can take it to new heights.

Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2020 is Classic Blue:

“Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.

Inspired yet? If you want some fresh paint for your home, talk to a professional painter today and ask for free quotes in your area!


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