Pantone’s Color of the Year is Viva Magenta, a brave and resilient hue that’s paving the way for an optimistic future. It comes as we face a convergence of a post-COVID life, a new age of technology, and a rising general sentiment of unrest and angst from economic instability, global wars and climate change.
It’s no wonder why many want to find comfort and ways to ground themselves. All the while, we have to discover our inner strength to push ahead to find the glimmer of hope. These sentiments are reflected in Viva Magenta. It’s a color rooted in nature and, as Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute explains, 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.”
[Viva Magenta’s] personality feels energetic, powerful and luxurious, yet there’s a softness there to its character too.
“The Pantone Color of the Year Viva Magenta is quite a shift from previous years,” says Tristan Le Breton, creative director at 99designs by Vista, “and I find it quite hypnotizing. There’s a nice nostalgic feeling to it, which could be its ties to nature. Its personality feels energetic, powerful and luxurious, yet there’s a softness there to its character too. I can see it being very adaptive because it has a lot of potential and depth to how it can be used, which holds well for the digital world.”
The vibrant and energetic tones of Viva Magenta shine through for many to find inspiration, optimism and escapism in darker times, which has been a strong theme that’s emerged in our 2023 design trends. Many designers have expressed excitement and curiosity to explore advances in technology through designs that feel like windows into the digital psyche. While others immerse or seek escapism in nostalgia, other worlds and the unknown.
It is a new animated red that revels in pure joy, encouraging experimentation and self-expression without restraint
Viva Magenta evokes the feeling of limitless expression, experimentation and exploration that encourages a rebellious spirit. “It is a new animated red that revels in pure joy, encouraging experimentation and self-expression without restraint,” according to the Pantone website, “an electrifying, and a boundaryless shade that is manifesting as a stand-out statement.” We’ve seen this sentiment in the revival of punk aesthetics or in designs that challenge typical norms and layouts, like anti-design or brutalism. Our senior art director Imogen Hill tells us, “the rebellious spirit of Viva Magenta aligns with the design trends we see for 2023, such as Punk Revival. People are feeling empowered to rail against failing systems in the search for something new and fresh.”
The rebellious spirit of Viva Magenta aligns with the design trends we see for 2023, such as Punk Revival. People are feeling empowered to rail against failing systems in the search for something new and fresh.
At times, the darker tones in Viva Magenta can bring out the doom and gloom we feel, especially in the current state of the world. But instead of being engulfed in the darker tones, we find the brightness in Viva Magenta and look for the hope on the horizon. Viva Magenta is a color about the inner strength and resilience of humans, the desire for optimism, and the brave and bold steps we take to build a better world.
Bold and optimistic designs with Viva Magenta
Here are some inspiring examples that showcase bold and optimistic designs using Viva Magenta.