When onset photos from Greta Gerwig’s forthcoming Barbie flick ransacked the internet this past summer, a fashion trend aptly dubbed “Barbiecore” promptly came to the fore in a tidal wave of pink. Then Valentino made a big ol’ fuchsia splash of their own at Paris Fashion Week with their Autumn/Winter 2022-2023 Pink PP Collection, where a monochromatic sea of bright pink dominated runways. And now, the giants over at Pantone are getting in on the action with their recently announced 2023 Color of the Year, PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta.
“An unconventional shade for an unconventional time,” the Pantone team says of Viva Magenta on their site. Other punchy descriptors are thrown out throughout the Viva Magenta marketing materials to convey the hue as well, including “fearless,” “pulsating,” and “witty.” How a color can be witty is news to us, but sure! We’re along for the ride.
Viva Magenta is the successor of the 2022 Pantone COY Very Peri— a much more soothing tone that’s the smooth jazz to Viva Magenta’s upbeat pop. So what does that say about Pantone’s predictions for 2023 vs. 2022? Do the color fortune-tellers over at the Pantone Color Institute know something the rest of us mere mortals don’t know about what’s to come?
In the typical verbiage we’ve come to expect from COY announcements, Viva Magenta is billed as a forward-facing color that celebrates newness and innovation. But Pantone really committed to this concept in a big way this time, teaming up with their longstanding creative partner Huge to create a Viva Magenta-colored world called “The Magentaverse” using the AI generative tool Midjourney. This design experiment explores the relationship and tensions between new technology and human creativity.
There’s even a Pantone Color of the Year 2023 experience at ARTECHOUSE Miami that’s on-view now at Art Basel Miami Beach, which brings the Magentaverse to the physical realm. The installation is composed of “immersive rooms with textures and interactions that plunge attendees into an array of visual, auditory, and tactile experiences— all in the spirit of PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta.” This is the first time Pantone is bringing their COY to life in this way.
Despite this clear embracing of new, futuristic art technologies, the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eiseman, says that she and her team drew inspiration from “nature and what is real” for Viva Magenta.
“It 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,” Eiseman said in a statement. “Rooted in the primordial, PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta reconnects us to original matter. Invoking the forces of nature, PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta galvanizes our spirit, helping us to build our inner strength.”
With the 2023 Pantone Color of the Year announcement, the design world can officially bid 2022 adieu and look ahead to next year— the rest of December is merely a technicality. Sorry, we can’t hear you, 2022, the Magentaverse is calling!