For its 2022 color of the year, global color authority Pantone has for the first time created a brand new shade: Pantone 17-3938 Very Peri, a vibrant periwinkle blue with violet red undertones.

“It was really important for us to come up with a new color, because we have a very new vision of the world now,” Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman told CNN.

After the lockdowns of 2020, Pantone chose two colors, Ultimate Gray and the sunny yellow Illuminating, to represent quiet reassurance and resilience in the face of difficult circumstances, as well as optimism for the future. Next year’s Very Peri symbolizes the changes the world is experiencing as we look to move beyond the isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic.

The color is the “happiest and warmest of all the blue hues,” blending the “faithfulness and constancy of blue with the energy and excitement of red” to deliver an “empowering mix of newness” with a “carefree confidence and a daring curiosity that animates our creative spirit,” said the company in its announcement.

Pantone's 2022 Color of the Year is Very Peri, a new shade of blue invented for the occasion. Photo courtesy of the Pantone Color Institute.

Pantone’s 2022 Color of the Year is Very Peri, a new shade of blue invented for the occasion. Photo courtesy of the Pantone Color Institute.

“It’s unusual to refer to blue as ‘happy,’ but when you add that red element to it, that’s exactly what happened,” Eiseman added, speaking to Time. “We felt it was so important to put together a color that encapsulated the feeling of newness.”

Choosing a shade of blue also recalls the blue glow of digital devices like our computers and smartphones at a time when human existence is increasingly shifting to the digital realm, with the rise of technological advances such as NFTs, virtual reality, and the emerging Metaverse.

And, for the third year running, Pantone will partner with Artechouse in New York City for an immersive installation of digital projections inspired by the color of the year, set to open in early 2022.

Pantone’s primary product is the Pantone Matching System, a standardized color reproduction system with over 2,000 unique shades, each identified by a number. It serves as a guide that allows brands, manufacturers, and graphic designers to ensure that their chosen colors are reproduced consistently across different products and mediums, both physically and digitally.

Pantone's 2022 Color of the Year is Very Peri, a new shade of blue invented for the occasion. Photo courtesy of the Pantone Color Institute.

Pantone’s 2022 Color of the Year is Very Peri, a new shade of blue invented for the occasion. Photo courtesy of the Pantone Color Institute.

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