Pantone’s pick for 2018: Ultra violet colors the year ahead

Trends and interior design experts pegged the blue-based purple as the right tone for the moment.

By Debbie Arrington / The Sacramento Bee

If color forecasters are correct, the year ahead will be filled with a purple haze.

From housewares to fashion to flowers, expect a heavy dose of bright, eye-popping purple. That’s the prediction of the experts at Pantone Color Institute, which recently named “ultra violet” as the Color of 2018.

This isn’t your basic aubergine or periwinkle or Sacramento Kings’ royal purple. Instead, ultra violet — as its name implies — kicks up its intensity as “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade,” according to the color experts.

To come up with its annual Color of the Year, Pantone tracks trends in all segments of design, then weighs shades it sees on the upswing against other more nebulous factors such as the mood of the nation.

“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, in the official announcement. “It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to … 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.”

Pantone reads many things into this intense hue. It “communicates ingenuity, originality and visionary thinking that points to the future,” according to the experts. It’s a Prince kind of purple.

Ultra violet also has a calming and meditative aspect that can combat the nonstop stress of life today, Pantone noted. Visually, it complements the ubiquitous grays in modern homes.

For color watchers, ultra violet is more blue than radiant orchid, Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year, and pinker than blue iris, the 2008 top choice. (And it’s a stark contrast to 2017’s pick, greenery.)

What does this mean to consumers? Expect a lot of ultra violet in everything from appliances and bedding to sofas and tile. Your Kings jersey will suddenly be a fashion statement.

“This means 2018 will be a good year to stock up on all things purple, if you love the color,” said interior designer Jennifer Ott in her assessment of ultra violet.

Michael Murphy, trends and interior design producer at Lamps Plus, pegged ultra violet as the right tone for the moment.

“This color evokes truth, self-respect and dignity,” he said. “All of these words seem to be culturally relevant.”

In the garden, ultra violet already is right at home. Purple ranks among the most common flower colors and is a longtime florist favorite.

If you’re thinking of energizing your landscape with ultra violet, consider planting some Purple Dome asters, purple morning glories or purple monkshead; all have that same vibrant shade. They’ll make your spring and summer gardens ultra appealing.

See the exact shade of purple that is Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year at

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