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Every year, Pantone Color Institute chooses a color of the year. Individual paint companies often have their own color of the year as well. For 2020, some are saying the chosen colors of the year reflect the mindset and overall priorities of the American people. For example, the colors are moving away from bright and bold. Instead, they are inspired by nature and create a sense of tranquility and peace, which can be so important in a hectic, increasingly stressful world. 

Pantone’s Color of the Year

The Pantone Color Institute started its tradition of choosing the color of the year twenty years ago, in 1999. The first pick was Cerulean. When Pantone made that announcement, they said that consumers would be moving toward spiritual fulfillment and inner peace in the new millennium. 

Every year since then, the Pantone Color Institute has chosen colors they say reflect not only what’s on-trend aesthetically but what’s happening in global culture. Many other paint and design companies have followed with their own selections. 

In 2019, the Pantone Color of the Year was “Living Coral,” which was a vibrant shade that potentially represented an increasing focus on wildlife and protecting the world’s oceans and the life they contain. 

Pantone hasn’t named the Color of the Year, but they have released their Spring-Summer 2020 trending colors along with their meanings. There is “Biscay Green,” which the company describes as being associated with cleansing, refreshing waters, as well as “Sunlight,” which is a bright, cheery color that makes you feel upbeat as the sun does. 

While Pantone hasn’t yet named its color of the year for 2020, some major paint companies have. 

Behr’s Color of the Year

Behr’s 2020 color of the year is called “Back to Nature.” It’s a shade of light green that the Behr brand describes as being calm, balanced and gracious. They go on to say it’s a way to bring the outdoors inside, and the Behr VP of Color and Creative Services said that getting into nature can impact our health and well-being in positive ways. She says the Behr company hopes that its 2020 color of the year selection will encourage people to engage with nature. 

Along with the color of the year, Behr also released its 2020 Color Trends palette, and all of the categories included on that were inspired by what the company described as the world around us and specifically the sky, water, earth, and plant life. Some of the colors included on the palette are “Creamy Mushroom,” “Cedar Spice,” “Dragonfly” and “Bluebird.”

Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year

Benjamin Moore’s color of the year is called “First Light,” which is a dusty, rosy shade of pink. The company says that it works well with varying soft neutrals, and it’s reminiscent of dawn’s light. It also, according to the company, represents a sense of optimism, beauty, and authenticity. Benjamin Moore’s representatives said that they wanted to consider how our surroundings promote wellness and comfort. Other Benjamin Moore 2020 palette picks are “Cushing Green,” “White Heron,” and “Golden Straw.”

Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year

Finally, another big name in the paint industry, Sherwin-Williams, named their pick for color of the year. Theirs is a darker, moodier color but no less inspired by nature. Naval is a deep, sky-like blue. The Director of Color Marketing for Sherwin-Williams says it’s not just important how a space looks, but how it makes you feel. She said people want to feel inspired and grounded to pursue their wellbeing, including mentally, physically and emotionally. 

The company’s press release for the color choice said it promotes tranquility and restfulness, which is fitting for Americans who, according to all accounts, are some of the most stressed-out people on the planet. We’re often looking for anything to help us feel calmer and more relaxed, and the Sherwin-Williams company says that’s just what “Naval” does. 

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