The Colour of the Year for 2023 is the powerful and empowering Viva Magenta.
Cochineal is a bright red pigment that comes from the cochineal insect, a small scale insect that lives on cactus plants. The insect produces carminic acid, which gives the pigment its distinctive red colour.
Cochineal has been used as a dye for textiles and as a food colouring for centuries, and was an important trade item for many cultures, particularly in pre-Columbian America. Today, cochineal is still used in the food, cosmetic, and textile industries, and is known for its brilliant red colour and its ability to provide consistent and long-lasting colour in a range of products.
Magenta is a vibrant, reddish-pink colour that is typically described as a mix of pink and purple. It is considered a high-impact colour that is both energetic and attention-grabbing. In colour psychology, magenta is associated with creativity, passion, and excitement. Magenta is often used in fashion, graphic design, and advertising to create bold and visually striking designs.
In this age of technology, we look to draw inspiration from nature and what is real. PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta descends from the red family and is inspired by the red of cochineal, one of the most precious dyes belonging to the natural dye family as well as one of the strongest and brightest the world has known.
Rooted in the primordial, PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta reconnects us to the original matter. Invoking the forces of nature, PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta galvanizes our spirit, helping us to build our inner strength.
– Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director Pantone Color Institute
Branding: Magenta can be used as a signature colour for a brand, helping to create a strong visual identity and stand out in a crowded market.
Advertising: Magenta’s bright and attention-grabbing nature makes it ideal for use in advertising for those that want to evoke a sense of playfulness or excitement.
Fashion and textiles: Magenta can be used in fashion and textiles to add a pop of colour and create a bold, eye-catching look.
Web design: Magenta can be used on websites to create a bright and energetic feel, or to draw attention to important elements such as calls to action.
Graphic design: Magenta can be used in graphic design to create impactful visual designs, whether for posters, brochures, or other printed materials.
Interiors and product design: Magenta can be used in interior design and product design to create a bold and playful feel, particularly for products aimed at a trend-conscious audience.
When using magenta in design, it’s important to consider the intended audience and the overall look and feel of the design. Too much magenta can be overwhelming, so it’s often best used as an accent colour in combination with other colours to balance it out.
I have chosen to use web-safe hex colour codes to demonstrate this mini-brand exercise, using the closest reference to Viva Magenta as possible.
The first hex colour code is #f15f64 which is a light, bright and bold pinkish-red shade of Viva Magenta, as a soft accent colour. It is a high-saturation colour that tends to attract attention and create a sense of excitement. When used in branding or design, it can add energy and vibrancy to the overall aesthetic. However, I have used it in moderation to draw attention to specific elements or areas within the design to add visual interest and break up large areas of colour.
This has then been paired with a dark blue colour hex colour #0b4265 to balance its impact. This dark blue colour is rich and sophisticated, often associated with stability and trust which creates a calming and professional look and feel. When used in this brand design, it provides a strong contrast to Viva Magenta and a real sense of depth and dimension adding to that feeling of inner strength.
As you can see using Pantone Colour of the Year 2023 Viva Magenta paired with the colours #f15f64 (lighter magenta) and #0b4265 (dark blue) in our brand design example we have created a contrasting and dynamic visual effect. The bright magenta colour adds energy and vibrancy, while the dark blue provides stability and professionalism.
When used together, these colours symbolise a balance of inner strength and reliability, which I think is appealing to a wide range of target audiences. Paired with soft white or grey, this colour palette offers a vibrant, dynamic, clean and professional aesthetic.
Whether it is used in a natural setting or in a man-made design, Viva Magenta has the power to add vibrancy and life to any environment.