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How to Use the Color of 2019—Living Coral

The Pan­tone Col­or Insti­tute crowns a new col­or every year and this time around, the col­or is a rather bub­bly one: Liv­ing Coral (Pan­tone 16–1546). If you’re sud­den­ly hav­ing visions of coral reef and oth­er ocean­ic life, you are think­ing on the right track.

The col­or appears pink, but Pan­tone depicts Liv­ing Coral as “an ani­mat­ed, life-affirm­ing shade of orange, with gold­en under­tones.” Whether it’s seen as pink or orange with a gold­en touch, Pan­tone is right—it is a spir­it­ed col­or that embraces life in a way that many oth­ers do not.

The Pantone Backstory

With­in the design indus­try, Pan­tone is famous for its Pan­tone Match­ing Sys­tem, a col­or match­ing sys­tem that was devel­oped in 1963. It assigns num­bers to each indi­vid­ual col­or based on light­ness, hue, and sat­u­ra­tion, and a vari­ety of indus­tries and pro­fes­sion­als, rang­ing from print com­pa­nies to hair styl­ists, use the sys­tem to iden­ti­fy col­ors. As a whole, Pan­tone prod­ucts and ser­vices give a descrip­tion and con­vey and over­see col­or ideas from con­cep­tion to real­iza­tion.

Pantone’s Color Promotion

Since 2000, the Pan­tone Col­or Insti­tute, a con­sult­ing ser­vice with­in Pan­tone that fore­casts glob­al col­or trends and advis­es busi­ness­es on col­or, has select­ed a Col­or of the Year every Decem­ber (for the upcom­ing year). Here is the cri­te­ria:

  • The col­or sym­bol­izes the sociopo­lit­i­cal cli­mate (at that giv­en time).
  • The color’s influ­ence is seen in art, enter­tain­ment, and pol­i­tics world­wide.
  • The col­or is not­ed by design experts and pro­fes­sion­als glob­al­ly.
Bride and Groom in navy suit and coral tie

Unearthing Coral

To under­stand the sig­nif­i­cance of Pan­tone Liv­ing Coral and why it mat­ters, it’s impor­tant to exam­ine why it’s called what it is. For starters, think about coral and its func­tion in nature. By def­i­n­i­tion, corals are con­sid­ered inver­te­brate ani­mals, and each indi­vid­ual one is called a polyp. Liv­ing in groups, these polyps form colonies (like reefs), and dis­play an incred­i­ble assort­ment of col­ors, in many forms and sizes. It’s nat­u­ral­ly beau­ti­ful, but aes­thet­ics aside, coral reefs are home to mil­lions of species. Accord­ing to the Inter­na­tion­al Coral Reef Ini­tia­tive, “Coral reefs are the largest liv­ing struc­ture on the plan­et, and the only liv­ing struc­ture to be vis­i­ble from space.”

Why Pantone Living Coral is so 2019

Now that you have an idea of what coral tru­ly is and why it’s impor­tant to the lives of count­less species under the sea, let’s put that into the con­text of col­or. Pan­tone Liv­ing Coral embod­ies life. It’s one that show­cas­es ener­gy, excite­ment, and heart and soul—all attrib­ut­es of our exis­tence and expe­ri­ence as humans.

More impor­tant­ly, Pan­tone Liv­ing Coral sets the tone and inten­tion for 2019. Its mood presents joy and opti­mism, allow­ing play­ful­ness to enrich our lives in the age of social media and leap to in-per­son, dai­ly inter­ac­tions. Like Pantone’s vice pres­i­dent, Lau­rie Press­man says, “We’re look­ing toward those col­ors that bring nour­ish­ment and the com­fort and famil­iar­i­ty that make us feel good. It’s not too heavy. We want to play. We want to be uplift­ed.”

Embracing the Color of the Year

Fash­ion-wise, we’re going to see Pan­tone Liv­ing Coral in almost every facet, stretch­ing from every­day wear to aus­pi­cious moments like wed­dings. Since our goal is to ensure the right look, fit and choice when it comes to spe­cial occa­sions, we’ve put togeth­er a style guide to help you incor­po­rate the col­or of 2019 with the appro­pri­ate ensem­ble.

Make a Statement

The biggest take­away here is that you want to use Pan­tone Liv­ing Coral as an acces­so­ry col­or for your spe­cial occa­sion. Think bow ties, long ties, and pock­et squares, and con­sid­er the for­mal­i­ty of your event—this will help you choose between the two. If you’re get­ting mar­ried, grooms tra­di­tion­al­ly wear white or black neck­wear (but don’t let that dic­tate your style). If you want to use Pan­tone Liv­ing Coral, select a pock­et square or be dar­ing and go for col­or­ful neck­wear.  If Pan­tone Liv­ing Coral is not quite your taste, we have oth­er shades avail­able.

Additional Shades of Coral and Pink

  • Sun Coral (Pan­tone Liv­ing Coral)
  • Guava/Sunset
  • Coral Reef/Parfait
  • Salmon
  • Petal
  • Belli­ni
Free swatches from Generation Tux.

Pop with Blue

When you match Pan­tone Liv­ing Coral with a blue suit, it cre­ates a look that’s bold, vibrant and styl­ish. Pos­si­bly, the most styl­ish. There are so many dif­fer­ent styles of blue you can go with too. From brighter shades, if you real­ly enjoy pops of col­or. Or dark­er, more tra­di­tion­al shades for a more sub­dued look.

Thrive with Black

Par­ing Pan­tone Liv­ing Coral with black is anoth­er one of those looks that says hel­lo loud­ly, but not in a bad way. For exam­ple, black is usu­al­ly stiff, but with Pan­tone Liv­ing Coral, the tone changes to live­ly. Plus, with black, you can go less for­mal with a suit or ultra-for­mal with a tux.

Bride and Groom in tan suit

Go Gray or Tan

Wear­ing Pan­tone Liv­ing Coral with tan or gray tends to work best when they’re lighter shades. The lighter col­or cre­ates an imag­i­nary, roman­tic appear­ance that reveals a fun-lov­ing side. But dark­er options tend to look more like black, which can be great, too.

The won­der­ful thing here is that if you’re still not cer­tain about which suit or tux col­or would look best for your wed­ding (or with Liv­ing Coral), Gen­er­a­tion Tux offers a free Home Try‑On! Our goal is to help you find the right choice.

Want to see Pantone Living Coral in person?

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