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Color Your Mood With Pantone’s Color of the Year

The iconic company has designated a new hue for 2022 — and it feels oddly appropriate for our increasingly technological society.
January 29, 2022
11 mins read

While “new year, new me” continues to echo through the hearts of many, the mantra tends to leave out how to achieve the “new me” in question. If a journey of self-transformation involves transformation, where does one start? There are countless lists on approaching New Year’s resolutions, but maybe there are different ways to address a goal besides a typical “resolution.” One example is to attach your intentions to new trends popping up, which can help a person hold themselves accountable toward reaching their goals. Pantone’s “Color of the Year” is here to do just that: Introduce a happy hue to help you stay motivated during this fresh reset.

For those who are unfamiliar with the company, Pantone supplies color consultations and technology to help people find colors that fit their aesthetic needs. The business is mainly a color-matching system that helps companies “color” their work with shades that elicit certain responses. Once the perfect shades are found, Pantone’s technology can help replicate colors that help define one’s iconic and individual look. In short, the company is a more refined version of spending hours searching for the “right” color on a paint chip display before asking for some help.

Besides Pantone’s color-matching services, the brand is well-known for covering fashion and lifestyle trends, as well as using their Pantone Color Institute to search for an annual “Color of the Year.” At the start of each year, Pantone chooses a “Color of the Year” that helps to set the trends or moods for the months ahead. Their so-called “color experts” initially seek out new trends through art and media; by tracking down the assumed trends and combining that with Pantone’s reputation for color-matching, the company churns out what they believe to be a year-defining shade for all industries. While the color changes each year, the intentions behind why Pantone makes these choices are consistent throughout.

To stand apart from typical New Year’s resolutions, Pantone welcomed 2022 in the one way they knew best: The company debuted their hand-picked “Color of the Year 2022” to the world. The “2022 Color of the Year” is a joyous shade of periwinkle, named “Very Peri.” While the color is cataloged as a mere code — PANTONE 17-3938 to be exact — the company provided a statement as to why they believe this specific purple will please all people. Pantone was thrilled to express that “Very Peri helps us to embrace this altered landscape of possibilities, opening us up to a new vision as we rewrite our lives.”

The color is praised for its harmonious combination of blue and red tones that create a dually striking and calming shade. While the company nods to the downcast emotion of blue tones, the addition of fiery reds helps to reignite the color in an “inquisitive and intriguing” way. As Packaging World reported, “This happiest and warmest of all the blue hues introduces an empowering mix of newness,” setting the bar high for the months to come. To bring “Very Peri” into the spotlight of today, Pantone also expressed that the color symbolizes transition and integration between technology and the physical world. Considering the constant trek toward technology as necessity versus accessory, it comes as no surprise that the physical colors we use to “color” our lives should represent the same realities.


Unlike in years past, the Color of the Year 2022 stands out not only for its hand-picked significance, but also for the experimental journey that brought “Very Peri” to the public. Pantone has invented the shade “Very Peri” to fit their “Color of the Year” campaign; rather than scouring the color wheel to find the most “perfect” shade as past “Colors of the Year” did, “Very Peri” pushes the boundaries of how trends are controlled in the year ahead. The process of developing a new color both contributes to the greater meaning that the company hopes to give to the shade, while symbolizing a new frontier on the integration of technology and art. Folding together “color theory and the year’s trends,” alongside a dash of digital and a clear aesthetic, Pantone channeled the brightest points of the past few years into a singular hue.

But how does the Pantone color measure up as a popular trend for 2022? Granted that the year is already off to the races, one can’t help but wonder about how accurate the predicted trends became. A quick internet search shows that the world is already fawning over “Very Peri”: interior design advice, homestyle tips and even curated shopping lists are celebrating a new love for periwinkle items.

While most of these trends seem like superficial excuses to advertise new products, Pantone’s pronouncement makes waves on the businesses that use their colors. As Small Business Trends stated, “For sectors that are dependent on the latest shades, knowing the Color of the Year is vital to ensure products adhere to the latest fashion and demands.” If businesses can “predict” what will be popular with the public — before even the public themselves knows — then that will lead to greater success on their part.

Digital platforms like Pinterest take the trend from the world of physical projects to social media. Since so many people rely on social media for either work or pleasure, the ability to identify and spread new trends on these platforms is a necessity. The inherent lack of limitations that come with the “Color of the Year” also make it user-friendly; since “Very Peri” is just a color, its relevance is shaped by public need and desires. Through social media platforms, people can search for “2022 Pantone Color of the Year” and find more ideas than they could ever imagine on their own.

After all, the periwinkle color encompasses both warm and cooler tones, the blues of which evoke “the blue glow of digital devices like our computers and smartphones at a time when human existence is increasingly shifting to the digital realm.” Within “Very Peri” is the need to stay attuned to new technological frontiers — like social media — to challenge the individual to come up with creative solutions for their own lives.

Although the “Very Peri” color certainly upholds its “carefree confidence and a daring curiosity that animates our creative spirit,” how can so much weight be placed on one color? The reality of Pantone’s new hue is simply a shade of periwinkle released to the world. However, bestowing upon “Very Peri” the prestigious title of “Color of the Year” completely transforms it. Now businesses, artists and clientele with eyes for design are clamoring to get a taste of the “Very Peri” for themselves. At its core, one can’t deny that Pantone’s color decision is cleverly defined, in that the shade was invented to calm the chaos of today for the future of tomorrow.

Despite this explanation, encompassing the depth of one’s emotional burdens and hopes with periwinkle monochrome has the potential to come across as too dependent on the color. This mindset can be a great release to let creativity run free, but drenching oneself in Pantone’s “Color of the Year” will not be the surefire solution for a stress-free year ahead.

The impact of Pantone’s “Color of the Year,” as well as with any other predicted trends for 2022, returns to the idea of setting resolutions or intentions for the year ahead. While being immersed in these unprecedented times is certainly not what anyone would guess about the current year, setting goals or making guides can help a person find footing through the confusion. By grounding oneself in the physical present — through changing individual habits or following worldwide trends — it might make conquering each day a little bit easier. It also doesn’t hurt when the things we cherish have a little more aesthetic zest than we originally planned.

Joy Young, Chapman University

Writer Profile

Joy Young

Chapman University
English Literature

Constantly searching for new inspiration, Joy strives to stay curious and expressive. Fueled by coffee and creation, she’s passionate about finding ways to write it down and share it around.

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