2018’s Colour of the Year & What It Means for Your Business

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word ‘purple’ or ‘violet’? Historically, purple was well-known for being a colour of royalty. Violet, too, is a very purplish colour that brings to mind the flowers bearing the same name (even though they come in different colours!).

Now, in terms of design and digital media, these words have taken on a whole new meaning. 2018 has begun with a bang in terms of digital graphic design with the newly announced “Colour of the Year” by Pantone. Last year in 2017 the Colour of the Year was the same shade of green that you can see on the KIAI website. This year, it’s not just purple or simply violet. It’s ultra violet.

Who is Pantone?

Have you ever heard about printing with “a Pantone colour”? There’s so much variation when you print something in paper, fabric, or any other materials, that some brands need to use a Pantone colour to make sure all materials will have that exact same colour. Imagine if each McDonalds had their fries package with colour variations from being printed in multiple locations. That’s when a Pantone comes in handy. They pay extra for reaching that specific tone, but it’s always the same red and the same yellow.

Pantone is a major influence to the world of graphic design, art, and even fashion and interior design. They are the world-renowned authority when it comes to the selection and provision of colour and its communication between several industries. They are an inspiration to designer professionals with products, services, and technology for colour exploration and the expression of creativity. That’s why some brands need to print with their own Pantone.

What Does ‘Ultra Violet’ Mean for Your Business?

Colour means so much for a small business’s logo and brand. The colour itself communicates originality, ingenuity, and a visionary way of thinking that points us to the future. As technology continues to advance, so too must our way of thinking about what to expect. We need to open up our minds to both listen to and understand what the future holds for each of us.


Small business owners should take this way of thinking into consideration when it comes to their brand. Gone are the ways of clinging to the past; what’s new is the embrace of future possibilities. In spiritual terms, especially of the chakra, purple is the colour of the highest and seventh chakra—of our spiritual mind and our very sense of being, of enlightenment.

In this way it makes perfect sense to choose ultra violet as the colour for 2018. 2017 was a year filled with major transitional changes for everyone, and this year we can feel a sense of purpose—and that purpose is to take action and open our minds and hearts to future possibilities, whether it’s spreading positive energy or to move forward with your small business.

“The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design” said Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute. “It’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today.”


Does this Mean I Need to Change My Company’s Colour?

If you’re a startup having its visual identity being developed, you can choose the purple, if it matches your brand strategy. The same thing goes for companies that might be considering updating their brand.

But what I wanted to share with you is that the ultra violet will connect well with people this year, so you might consider using a touch of this purple in your social media posts, or some of your marketing materials—again, if the idea applies!

Colours that usually go well with purple: gold, yellow, grey, turquoise, orange, some greens like mint green and lime green, and some tons of pink as well. Colours that usually don’t go well with purple: basically you should avoid most reds and dark blues.

Daniela Torres

Daniela Torres is the founder and Creative Director of KIAI Agency Inc. With over 12 years of experience working as a journalist, press officer and graphic designer, Daniela is a brand strategist that has been leading design and marketing projects for multiple industries. She’s also the author of the book “Build Your Brand – The 10 essential steps before launching your business”.

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