In 2018, Purple Reigns

As they do every year around this time, Pantone has announced the Color of the Year and it’s Ultra Violet, a vibrant, blue-based purple.

The Pantone Color Institute forecasts global color trends and advises companies on color in brand identity. Based on extensive consumer research, they read the zeitgeist and choose a color in tune with people’s current hopes, expectations and feelings.

Purple is not a safe choice. It tends to be polarizing, with as many devotees as there are avoiders. That makes its coronation as this year’s color a brave decision on Pantone’s part.

But then, with consumer confidence at record highs, a full employment picture, roaring stock market and strong holiday retail sales, people are feeling better these days about their prospects. So taking more chances, fashion- and other-wise, is definitely in the air.

Says Pantone, “Purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Pantone Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.”

Of course, as a major player in the exhibit and events industry, it’s incumbent upon us to always stay current and search for trends that resonate with today’s attendees.

Said Kurt Pfeiffer, our creative director, “While we may not have the opportunity to choose purple directly because we comply with clients’ brand colors, the confidence it suggests will embolden our palette choices within those standards.”

The takeaway? Expect to see purple popping up this year, of course. But more than this, expect customers to be more open to experimentation and reasonable risk-taking within a more creative, feel-good environment.

On a final note, Hillary wore purple at her concession speech and Bill wore a matching tie. This was widely viewed as an appeal to bipartisanship because the blending of blue and red creates purple. Another sign perhaps that 2018 could be a year of bold gestures and hopeful outcomes.