Pantone Colour of the Year 2023: What is ‘Viva Magenta’?

Berry is the hip colour for 2023  (Huge)
Berry is the hip colour for 2023 (Huge)

Pantone has painted the town red, but with shades of blue, with their choice for colour of the year.

Pantone 18-1750 “Viva Magenta” is the berry shade of red reserved for 2023, situated between a cool and warm tone - but effortlessly vibrant.

The company announced its decision on Thursday (December 1) for the year ahead.

This may be the first you have heard of this colour - which is by design, as the company aims to choose a colour that not only captures the zeitgeist but is ahead of the curve.

So instead of going for the obvious trends of autumnal orange, deep aubergine, or cottage-core sage green - here’s Pantone’s colour of the year:

What does Viva Magenta mean?

Pantone often chooses its shades with reference to the year’s events.

As 2022 saw ongoing challenges like turbulent politics, the Covid-19 pandemic, and other issues facing out world, this year’s colour was based on an “unconventional time”, said Pantone’s executive director Leatrice Eiseman, to Time magazine.

Eiseman described the vivid red colour as “animated” and “pulsating with movement”, citing a natural derivative as the inspiration.

Cochineal, a natural insect dye used for centuries, was noted as “one of the strongest and brightest [colours] the world has known”.

She added: “It’s a colour that really vibrates with vim and vigour, that demonstrates a new signal of strength, which is something we all need for a more optimistic future.”

However, the insect world may disagree, seeing as cochineal was traditionally created by crushing Cochineal beetles, with the name meaning “berry red”.

Who is releasing Viva Magenta colour-of-the-year products?

Pantone is partnering with a number of brands this year to release Viva Magenta-toned products to the public.

Pantone’s own merchandise includes lanyards, mugs, and limited-edition colour swatches with the “Magentaverse” colour palette.

In collaboration with new releases to accompany the launch are Motorola’s 30 Edge Fusion mobile in Viva Magenta.

Cariuma are also creating the Viva Magenta ‘sneaker of the year’ in six styles. The shoe brand promises to plant two trees in the Brazilian rainforest for every pair of sneakers bought - and has planted two million trees to date.

For advice on how to style Viva Magenta into your life, see the Pantone site for products and tips.