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Vivid magenta represents colour empowerment

‘This year’s Pantone Colour of The Year is powerful and empowering. Viva Magenta (18-750) is an animated red that revels in pure joy, encouraging experimentation and self-expression without restraint,’ says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. ‘Because reds are advancing colours, they draw the eye from the colours surrounding them. Viva Magenta is electrifying and a boundless shade that is manifesting as a standout statement.’ 

When it comes to using it in packaging and plastics, tapping into the Colour of the Year 2023 will ensure your brand stands out whether consumers are scrolling on their phones or browsing the aisles. Today’s consumers spend large portions of their days looking at a screen where the visuals tend towards pale and neutral. ‘Designers looking for a colour that cuts through this space will find the Colour of the Year a captivating solution. A brand using Viva Magenta expresses that it’s fearless, engaging and looks at the world unconventionally to bring about new solutions,’ asserts Leatrice.

‘As a nuanced crimson red tone that presents a balance between warm and cool, Pantone 18-1750 Viva Magenta is also a hybrid colour that comfortably straddles the physical and virtual in our multi-dimensional world,’ she continues. ‘It is assertive, but not aggressive, a carmine red that does not boldly dominate but instead takes a “fist in a velvet glove” approach. Exuding dynamism, it is a transformative red tone capable of driving design to create a more positive future.’

The meaning behind Viva Magenta

‘As we balance our digital and physical lives, we continue to grow our appreciation for the natural world. Viva Magenta acknowledges our gravitational pull towards natural colours as movements swell around climate change, sustainability and land protection,’ adds Leatrice.

In this year’s selection process, Pantone observed a heightened appreciation and awareness of nature represented by countless lifestyle trends. ‘We’re incorporating more living things into our homes, such as plants, florals, living walls and restorative outdoor spaces. We’re finding newfound enjoyment in travel, sports and outdoor recreation after pausing these activities during the pandemic. We’re more careful to protect our bodies as a result of the public health crises – we look to apply and ingest trusted, life-giving ingredients. All of these lifestyle trends speak to the heartiness of natural forces,’ she explains.

Viva Magenta’s organic origins hail from the cochineal beetle, which produces carmine dye, one of the most precious, strongest and brightest of the natural dye family. ‘The Colour of the Year 2023 merges the richness, warmth and strength of natural matters with the rich, open horizons of the digital world. The result is a shade of red that expands our horizons of authenticity. The metaverse creates new opportunities for us to express ourselves, and the raw fortitude of Viva Magenta inspires us to do so with confidence and bravery,’ Leatrice continues. 

Colour psychology

She explains that reds are power colours that celebrate life. As a bright, crimson red, Viva Magenta balances boldness with a feeling of fun. This dynamic mix exudes rebellion, but not at the expense of softness. ‘It embodies an expression of fierce grace, inspiring us to show up with confidence and humanity,’ enthuses Leatrice. ‘The digital space has accelerated globalisation and, as a result, we are more deeply connected to each other than ever before. The Colour of the Year 2023 speaks to our desire to take on new challenges and try the unconventional while meeting others with compassion.’

What distinguishes this year’s Colour of the Year from last year’s – Pantone 17-3938 Very Peri, which also married the technical with nature – is Viva Magenta’s ability to answer our collective need for strength, she maintains. ‘Viva Magenta offers us the assurance and motivation we need to weather long-term disruptive events. Three years deep into a pandemic, facing a war, an unstable economy, social unrest, supply chain breakdowns and mounting climate change, we need to heal. And still, we need to find the motivation to continue. Here, Viva Magenta cloaks us in both power and grace, and sends us out into the world with the verve we’ve yearned for,’ Leatrice concludes.

Brand packaging that features Viva Magenta expresses fearlessness and an unconventional world view that’s determined to bring about new solutions.”