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Pantone’s Colors Of The Year List From 2010 – 2022

Erin Gobler6-Minute Read
April 11, 2022

Color plays an important role in our lives — perhaps even more important than you might realize. We see it in all areas of our lives, from our wardrobes to the websites we visit to our home interiors.

Each year, the Pantone Color Institute places its stamp on the world of color by choosing a Color of the Year. And once the new “it” color is named, you’re likely to notice it everywhere. Keep reading to learn more about Pantone’s Color of the Year, past colors, and how you can incorporate this year’s color into your home.

What Is The Pantone Color Of The Year?

A Pantone color is a standard color code for a particular shade that helps you identify it using numbers. Each year, usually in December, the Pantone Color Institute and the Pantone Color System announce the Color of the Year.

For more than 20 years, this Color of the Year has been a go-to guide for color marketing experts and is often featured on new products, spotlighted by celebrities, and more. The Pantone Color Institute uses trend forecasting to settle on the upcoming year’s Color of the Year.

How Is The Color Of The Year Determined?

The Pantone Color Institute has been choosing a new color to serve as Color of the Year for more than 20 years. And the process of choosing that color is far more involved than you might think.

First, color experts from inside and outside of Pantone research new color influences. They look at current trends in entertainment, art, fashion, travel, lifestyle, and other areas of design to see what colors and ideas are trending. According to Pantone’s website, the institute also looks at world and sporting events, new technologies and more.

Once this research is collected, the Pantone Color Institute hosts twice-annual meetings in a European capital. These meetings are attended by representatives of various nations' color standards groups. Individuals can present their ideas for the new Color of the Year, and at the end of the final meeting, the group chooses the new Pantone Color of the Year.

And while Pantone’s Color of the Year may be the most well-known, it’s not the only one. It’s actually common practice in the paint industry for companies to declare their own colors to honor that year. Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams and Behr are just a few examples of companies that choose their own. For their 2022 colors of the year, Benjamin Moore chose October Mist, Sherwin-Williams choose Evergreen Fog and Behr chose Breezeway.

The Pantone Color Of The Year For 2022

At the end of 2021, Pantone announced its 2022 Color of the Year to be Very Peri, PANTONE 17-3938. According to Pantone’s website, Very Peri “helps us to embrace this altered landscape of possibilities, opening us up to a new vision as we rewrite our lives. Rekindling gratitude for some of the qualities that blue represents complemented by a new perspective that resonates today …”

According to Pantone, Very Peri is representative of what’s happening in the world today. The world and the individuals in it are emerging from a period of isolation, and our expectations of the world are changing. Very Peri is representative of the new reality we’re living in. Pantone also points to the color’s place in the digital world, online artistic community and the metaverse.

Past Pantone Colors Of The Year

Pantone has been choosing a new Color of the Year for more than 20 years, and all of the past colors remain published on the company’s website. Of course, the new year’s color is often featured in new products and trends. But each of Pantone’s chosen colors has a timeless quality about them, and if you’re designing a color palette for your home’s interior, the list of past winners can be a great place to start.

Here are the past Pantone Colors of the Year:

  • 2010 Turquoise (Pantone 15-5519)
    • When Pantone announced this color in late 2009, it shared that it was inspired by thoughts of soothing, tropical waters. The color was intended to represent an escape to a tropical paradise for individuals.
  • 2011 Honeysuckle (Pantone 18-2120)
    • Honeysuckle was chosen as the Color of the Year for its encouraging and uplifting characteristics. It became a popular color in wedding apparel, home interiors, fashion, and more after becoming Color of the Year.
  • 2012 Tangerine Tango (Pantone 17-1463)
    • Tangerine Tango was chosen for the energy boost needed to recharge and move forward. Pantone pointed to the fact that orange had become more popular in fashion and design. After being chosen as Color of the Year, Tangerine Tango was often used by fashion designers and apparel manufacturers.
  • 2013 Emerald (Pantone 17-5641)
    • The 2013 choice for Color of the Year was chosen because it “enhances our sense of well-being …” Pantone noted how the color was traditionally associated with gemstones, which gave it a sophisticated and luxurious perception.
  • 2014 Radiant Orchid (Pantone 18-3224)
    • Radiant Orchid was chosen as Color of the Year for its healthy and energetic qualities and the way it made those wearing it feel. The color quickly made its way onto the runway and red carpet in 2014, becoming a favorite of fashion designers.
  • 2015 Marsala (Pantone 18-1438)
    • Marsala was chosen as Color of the Year for its richness, sophistication, and natural earthiness. The color translated well to nearly all areas of design and became a popular paint color in the mid-2010s.
  • 2016 Rose Quartz (Pantone 13-1520) and Serenity (Pantone 15-3919)
    • Pantone surprised people in 2016 by choosing two Colors of the Year for the first time. Rose Quartz and Serenity were chosen for the balance they provide when used in design and to represent societal movements toward gender equality.
  • 2017 Greenergy (Pantone 15-0343)
    • Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year was described by Pantone as “fresh and zesty,” and evoked the energy of spring renewal and revival. While not generally thought of as a neutral color, Pantone dubbed Greenergy as “nature’s natural.”
  • 2018 Ultra Violet (Pantone 18-3838)
    • Ultra Violet is a color that communicates “originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking,” according to Pantone. The color has become popular in graphic design, but also has a place in fashion, beauty, and home decor.
  • 2019 Living Coral (Pantone 16-1546)
    • Living Coral is a color that Pantone claimed provides an authentic and immersive experience during a time of increasing digital technology and social media, thanks to its lightheartedness, optimism, and warmth.
  • 2020 Classic Blue (Pantone 19-4052)
    • Pantone chose Classic Blue as its 2020 Color of the Year for its simplicity, timelessness, and elegance. The color was designed to bring a sense of peace and tranquility in a time when we needed more of those qualities.
  • 2021 Ultimate Gray (Pantone 17-5104) and Illuminating (Pantone 13-0647)
    • In 2021 Pantone surprised us by once again choosing two colors. The combination of Ultimate Gray and Illuminating was designed to spread a message of happiness, fortitude and hope. The colors combined the characteristics of being practical and solid while also being warm and optimistic.
  • 2022 Very Peri (Pantone 17-3938)

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How To Incorporate The Pantone Color Of The Year Into Your Home Decor

For more than two decades, Pantone has been choosing a color that will go on to be featured in fashion, beauty, digital technology, and home design. There are plenty of timeless ways to incorporate these trending colors into your home’s color palette.

Create An Accent Wall

You can use Pantone’s Color of the Year to create an accent wall, which is when one wall in a room is painted in a way to stand out. Many of Pantone’s chosen colors are bold and energetic, making them well-suited to an accent wall.

Add A Statement Piece Of Furniture

A statement piece of furniture can take a simple room and make it pop. You can find a colorful chair or couch in the Color of the Year at any popular furniture store, or you can even refinish a piece you already have.

Throw In Pops Of Color

For many homeowners, adding bold colors to their homes is difficult. You can start small by incorporating Pantone’s Color of the Year within smaller elements in your home, such as throw pillows, flowers, rugs, dishes and more.

The Bottom Line

Pantone’s Color of the Year uses current design and digital trends, as well as trend forecasting, to choose its Color of the Year each year. Every color the Pantone Color Institute chooses is designed to evoke a certain energy and feeling, and you can use interior design to bring that same energy into your home. 2022’s color, Very Peri, can bring a carefree and daring spirit into your home. To learn more, read about how to choose the right paint color for your home.

Erin Gobler

Erin Gobler is a freelance personal finance expert and writer who has been publishing content online for nearly a decade. She specializes in financial topics like mortgages, investing, and credit cards. Erin's work has appeared in publications like Fox Business, NextAdvisor, Credit Karma, and more.