Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2019 promises comfort, familiarity and a playful spirit.

Described by the Pantone Color Institute as ‘an animating and life-affirming shade’, Living Coral draws parallels with another trend set to dominate design in 2019 – biophilia. Both are derived from our inherent affinity towards nature, with Pantone’s choice of an orange with a golden undertone signalling a collective desire for community, optimism and joyful pursuits.

According to the colour experts at Pantone, Living Coral represents the fusion of modern life. “Colour is an equalizing lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities and this is particularly true for Living Coral,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director. “With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the heartening qualities displayed by the convivial Pantone Living Coral hit a responsive chord.”

Downtown Design is already familiar with the exhilarating qualities of Coral that constitutes one-half of the fair’s brand colours. Anticipating the colour that will dominate 2019, some of last year’s exhibitors presented key pieces in this inviting, warm and progressive shade.

As playful as Living Coral is, it should also be viewed as a commentary on climate change and the pressing needs of humanity.

“With everything that’s going on today, we’re looking for those humanizing qualities because we’re seeing online life dehumanizing a lot of things,” the company’s Vice President Laurie Pressman, told the Associated Press. “We’re looking toward those colours that bring nourishment and the comfort and familiarity that make us feel good.”

While Living Coral continues in the trend of saturated colours (Ultra Violet in 2018 and Greenery the year before), it’s not glaringly overpowering. It is also a colour that can work across gender spectrums and market segments: from art and accessories to fashion and interiors.

Living Coral is not as obviously millennial as Millennial Pink and not highbrow like Serenity and Rose Quartz, Pantone’s dual pick for 2016. Therein lies its appeal which is only amplified by a roster of more classical tones that compliment it effortlessly: blues, grey and Gold. From our experience, teal works well too.