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It’s a Classic Blue 2020 for Pantone®

December saw the eagerly-awaited big reveal of the colour of choice for 2020 by our industry’s favourite colour alchemists, and it is Pantone® 19-4052, or to give its full Sunday name, Classic Blue.

No matter the shade or tone, blue is my favourite colour. Ever since I was a child, looking up at those summer clear blue skies across the horizon on family holidays to the coast, blue was in abundance everywhere I looked. The omnipresence of the colour brought calm and freshness into my life, and to this day, I’m always drawn to brands that display blue as their colour of choice. Pantone® rationalises their choice of blue as a “timeless and enduring hue elegant in its simplicity”. This resonates with me and my relationship with the colour.


Classic Blue in Brand Logos

With this in mind, I decided to take a look at the wider world and notable brands that have adopted blue as their flagship colour. Classic blue is a colour that’s synonymous with freedom, open space and intelligence which has proven to be a real hit across many industries.

Brand logos that use Pantone Colour of the Year Classic Blue

The Sensory Experience of Classic Blue

2020 is the first time that Pantone® has collaborated with sensory experts to take the shade beyond the colour swatch. Working with creatives from fields such as food & drink, fashion, music and technology, together they ‘imagined’ Classic Blue as “a sound, smell, a taste, and a feeling’.

Through this next level journey into colour, Pantone® says its aim is to “create new experiences that speak to people’s hearts as well as their minds”.

As a result of this study, Pantone created a sensory package that included a swatch of suede-like fabric, a musk-and-sea-salt scented candle, a blueberry-flavoured jelly accompanied with a three-minute audio track titled “Vivid Nostalgia.”

Although this may seem somewhat overkill when trying to envisage a colour, it does invite consumers and brands alike to look past first impressions and go ‘past the brand’ to get under the skin to really discover what makes that personal connection to a product or even a colour.

This new focus on what a colour makes you feel rather than how it looks could change how designers and marketers approach future projects and push them to re-analyse legacy branding and messaging. It’s an exciting new premise that promises to be a catalyst for incredible marketing and branding in the future.