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Pantone announces Classic Blue as 2020 Color of the Year

Pantone, the fashion industry's arbiter of color, announced that, for the first time, there will be TWO Colors of the Year
Passage: Colors of the Year 01:02

Pantone is playing it safe for its 2020 color of the year with a timeless classic. The company announced Thursday that next year's color is Classic Blue, a shade reminiscent of "the sky at dusk."

The paint company described the hue for a new decade as dependable, stable, restful, relatable, honest and universally beloved. "A reflective blue tone, Classic Blue fosters resilience," it said.

"Imbued with a deep resonance, Classic Blue provides an anchoring foundation," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. "A boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky, Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication."

At the conclusion of each year, the Pantone Color Institute selects a color to represent the upcoming year. Since the start of the tradition more than 20 years ago, the Color of the Year has influenced the fashion, interior design and advertising industries, among others.

According to the institute, it makes the decision based on trend analysis. Experts examine a wide range of influences, including films, art, fashion, design, travel, technology, social media and sporting events before making its decision. The company called the shade a "dependable and stable foundation from which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era."

The company emphasized Classic Blue is meant to be soothing and unifying, a fitting choice during a time of social, environmental and political uncertainty. It is meant to be an antidote to the stresses of everyday life in 2020, particularly due to technological advances, Pantone said.

It may appear Pantone went political in next year's color choice, but the company has insisted it wasn't a nod to the hue associated with the Democratic Party.

Blue has been a popular choice for Pantone in the past. The company's first pick in 2000 was Cerulean, followed by Aqua Sky (2003), Blue Turquoise (2005), Blue Iris (2008) and Serenity (2016).

But this year, the color's announcement comes with several multi-sensory experiences. Pantone has partnered with a number of businesses to allow people to experience Classic Blue from all angles — an audio track called "Vivid Nostalgia," a fragrance that smells both floral and fruity and a luxury tea blend, among others.

"As we all head into a new era, we wanted to challenge ourselves to find inspiration from new sources that not only evolve our Color of the Year platform, but also help our global audiences achieve richer and more rewarding color experiences," said Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute. "This desire, combined with the emotional properties of Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue, motivated us to expand beyond the visual, to bring the 2020 Pantone Color of the Year to life through a multi-sensory experience."

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