For the first time in the 22-year history of Pantone’s color of the year, the Pantone Institute has created a brand new color for the franchise, made just for 2022: PANTONE® 17-3938 Very Peri is a dynamic periwinkle blue with a vibrant, violet-red undertone designed to evoke the glowing touchscreens of the digital world and the creative possibilities of the future.
The institute said that the creation of a new color in 2022 represented the current changes occurring, after a period of intense isolation and uncertainty. Like last year’s selection of two colors, Ultimate Gray and the sunny yellow Illuminating, the choice of Very Peri was largely influenced by the desire to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental concerns and a larger reckoning with injustice and flaws within our current social structures.
These influences were captured by the institute’s use of blue, which is associated with constancy and faithfulness, and red which conveys energy and excitement. The result was a warm and unexpected blue color that communicates creativity and innovation.
“It’s unusual to refer to blue as ‘happy,’ but when you add that red element to it, that’s exactly what happened,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the institute. “We felt it was so important to put together a color that encapsulated the feeling of newness.”
This concept also speaks to how the virtual world is gaining more influence, such as the Metaverse, recreational trends, like VR gaming and Esports, and growing interest in cryptocurrency and NFTs. Because blue light, which is associated most with technology and futurism, in science fiction visual culture, and our everyday interactions with computers and smartphones, makes it easy to see why Very Peri was chosen as a symbol of a time where our online and personal lives so closely intersect.
“Understanding that the colors we see are now living in the digital space opened up a whole other gamut of possibilities for us,” says Laurie Pressman, vice president of the institute. “When we select the Pantone color of the year, it must be emblematic of what’s taking place at a moment in time. We were looking at a color that seamlessly moves between digital and physical.”
Ultimately, this new shade—and even the act of creating it—is meant to represent what many are hoping for in 2022: a fresh start for a world that knows that old systems and habits can no longer stand up to the challenges of today, let alone the days to come.
“We’re entering this different time where we’re reimagining our future, trying to rewrite our lives and acknowledging all the unknown before us,” Pressman says. “Looking at the world with different eyes has brought us—and will continue to bring us—new solutions.”