What is the 2024 Colour of the Year? And what does that mean for you?
"Peach Fuzz" has been named as Pantone’s colour of the year: a light, subtle orangey peach colour “softly nestled between pink and orange.”
The 25th anniversary of the programme. Peach Fuzz is described as a “velvety gentle peach tone whose all-embracing spirit enriches mind, body, and soul.” It was chosen for its warm, welcoming cosy vibes that “conveys compassion and empathy.”
“A warm and cosy shade highlighting our desire for togetherness with others or for enjoying a moment of stillness and the feeling of sanctuary this creates, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz presents a fresh approach to a new softness.”
What is the colour of the year?
Pantone is a colour company with a colour-matching system described as “the universal language of colours”. If a designer wants to use a specific colour for a project, for example, a logo, they can use a Pantone colour number to make sure they’re using the same colour every time. So looking at the Snag logo for example, each of the colours has a specific name and number, rather than just saying yellow, blue and pink. We know exactly what shades they are so we can have consistency across the branding.
The Pantone colour system is only one of several colour-matching systems, HEX, CMYK and RGB all do a similar thing. But the Pantone company has really made colours their thing.
As part of their brand, since 1999 they have declared a specific shade “colour of the year” for the next calendar year. This is the colour that's meant to best represent and characterise the next calendar year according to their industry experts, and the announcement of the new colour every December is a way for Pantone to let everyone know which colour they think is a good’un.
How do they decide the colour of the year?
Pantone’s Colour of the Year is decided by a “team of global colour experts” who come from a “wide range of design, cultural and geographical backgrounds”. According to Pantone, they look at colour and trend analysis as well as other research conducted throughout the year. These experts look at things like films, art, fashion, travel destinations and technology to determine the colour they believe best represents the year ahead.
Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a blog post: “We also consider the colour name in our selection process as names immediately conjure up an image and a feeling. We want to make sure that the name of our Pantone Colour of the Year resonates and can easily and intuitively convey the message we are looking to send.”
What does the colour of the year mean for me?
Real; historically, not a lot. The end of a year and the start of a new one always brings a lot of reflection and predictions for the future. Everyone is keen to get on a recap prediction-based trend - between Spotify Wrapped, Word of the Year and a load of other similar things - Colour of the Year is just another trendy thing that gets a lot of buzz as well as think about the year that's just happened and the one that's to come.
The colour chosen can be quite influential, with Pantone even releasing different products and colour combination palettes to align with the new Hue.
Colour forecasting isn’t a new thing, and many brands will try and predict what colours and colour stories consumers will want to purchase or will be trending in the near future so they can design their products around it. This is particularly true of fashion brands, who will try to predict (or even influence) the clothing trends for their upcoming collections. No one wants to make a bunch of pink t-shirts when everyone actually wants brown cardigans.
Pantone Colour of the Year is just a more consumer-facing extension of this, using their own colour research to determine what they think is going to characterise the next year. While you may see more brands using “Peach Fuzz” in their product offerings, branding or social media, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to see everything suddenly be available in Peach and nothing else. 2023’s colour of the year was “Viva Magenta” - how much have you seen of that colour over the last 12 months?
So if you want to declare your colour of the year to be something completely different - perhaps a strawberry red or an alien green? Or if you actually quite like peach, you can use it to inspire your wardrobe choices as we go into 2024. A pair of peach tights (like Peach Party!) can add an awesome nod to the colour of the year, or why not dig out your favourite peach pieces and style some amazing outfits to get you through winter and ready for spring.
Whether you care about the colour of the year or not, maybe this can be the push you need to experiment with a little more colour in your wardrobe, and peach is as good a place as any to start.