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2023 Pantone Color of the Year: Viva Magenta

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

The picture is of a paint swatch with the color viva magenta on it. It is surrounded by objects  made of magenta.

Have you ever wondered how the color of the year came to be? Or why it's so important? Have you ever asked why you should even care? Or, if we do care, how we can use the color without overcommitting by painting an entire wall or an entire room?

Pantone (which means "all colors") is a commercial printing company that was established in the early 1950s. Ten or so years later they developed the Pantone Matching System (PMS) that, simply put, allowed the designers to specify EXACTLY which color they wanted printed in or on whatever they were printing. So, if a graphic designer wanted Tangerine Tango printed in a magazine, they could use Tangerine Tango's specific number to get the color they wanted and not end up with a hideous shade of orange. Are you following?

In 2000, Pantone started announcing their color of the year. The process is done in secret meetings in a European city capital with color representatives from various nations' color standards groups. And wouldn't you know, when secret meetings are held in undisclosed European capital cities, lots of industries not only take notice but are influenced by the outcome. Pantone's color of the year informs the fashion industry, graphic design industry, home design industry, make-up industry and more. And now, twenty years later, people like me and you take notice and sometimes knowingly or unknowingly take part in the color of the year craze.

So, if you're toying with the idea of intentionally bringing in Viva Magenta, 2023's Color of the Year, into your home's design but don't want to commit to painting an entire wall, what can you do? What options do you have for using the color in a way that doesn't overcommit you and has you ready for when next year's announcement is made after the secret meeting?

10 ways to use Pantone's Color of the Year in your home:

The key to great design is in the details and details come from repeated design elements. So, if the design element we're wanting to experiment within our home is the color of the year, repeating that element is essential. No need to envelop your whole room in the dominant shade - adding accents here and there will do. My top ten recommendations for bringing the color in without overcommitting:

1. Candles

2. Bath towels

3. Kitchen towels

4. Art work

5. Vases

6. Frames

7. Throw blankets

8. Pillows

9. Soap bottles

10. Tassels or pom-poms on plant baskets

The best part? Because the color of the year is so influential in other industries, it's readily available. A quick search of my local Target had me discovering Viva Magenta in several places: candles, the secondary color of pillows, kitchen towels and soap bottles. And those discoveries were made in a five minute, non-intentional search. Had I gone to Target for the unique purpose of hunting for Viva Magenta I would have uncovered a lot more. Nope - this trip had me picking up boys' underwear and blue chips. Fun times.

Shop my favorite finds:

*If purchasing any of these products, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Pillows with poms! Word art! Tassels for baskets!

Listen to the full podcast episode here:


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