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Creating a Color Story

Ellen C. Wells
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If it’s December (which it is now, at press time), then it’s time for the Pantone Color Institute to reveal its choice of Color of the Year for 2023. They’re calling it Viva Magenta (PANTONE 18-1750).

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, had this to say about the choice of color for 2023: “In this age of technology, we look to draw inspiration from nature and what is real … Rooted in the primordial, PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta reconnects us to original matter. Invoking the forces of nature, PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta galvanizes our spirit, helping us to build our inner strength.”

The Pantone website further describes Viva Magenta with words such as “brave,” “fearless,” “pulsating,” “optimistic,” “animated,” “electrifying,” “audacious,” and “full of wit and inclusive of all.”

In addition to the primary color choice, Pantone always includes a palette of accompanying colors. Below are this year’s partnering colors, which they’re calling the Magentaverse.

What does our industry think of this choice? A few responses so far:

“(This color) is more upbeat than the economy. Usually when the economy is down, the colors of the year are muted and darker. There’s some optimism in the Pantone house.”—Richard Criley, professor emeritus of horticulture at University of Hawaii

“Viva Magenta is the new Burgundy.”—Todd Davis, Sales Director, Orora Visual Horticulture

“I like red, but do not like calling this new tone Viva Magenta. To my mind, this is not magenta—it doesn’t have enough pink in it. I love magenta and do use it in my garden and in my designs. Whatever this color is, it is misnamed.”—Bobbie Schwartz, owner, Bobbie’s Green Thumb landscape design, Ohio

“To me, the selection of Viva Magenta indicates the readiness to move beyond the plodding sameness of the pandemic and embrace joy. I hope it encourages people to incorporate more color into their everyday surroundings. I'm a little tired of all gray furnishings and walls all the time. Would I paint a room this color? You know, I just might!”—Katie Elzer-Peters, owner of The Garden of Words, Green Profit contributor and trendspotter. GP

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