Choosing a bright color in the red family for a statement wall or some other fixture can be a tricky business. Too close to the red end of the spectrum and you evoke fire trucks, stop signs, and Clifford the Big Red Dog. But too far toward pink and you’re treading into Barbie and Elle Woods territory.
If paying tribute to any of that seems appealing to you, go for it. If you’re looking for a pinkish red with a little more nuance, though, Pantone’s 2023 Color of the Year might pique your interest. Viva Magenta 18-750, according to Pantone, is “a bright, crimson red” that pairs well with “pale grays, blues, or pastels,” as well as with other shades of pink. “Viva Magenta is brave and fearless, a pulsating color whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative,” the company wrote. “It is a color that is audacious, full of wit and inclusive of all.”
As NPR reports, the Pantone Color Institute started the tradition of picking a forward-looking annual color in 2000, when cerulean blue earned the title. Researchers analyze design trends across multiple industries and throughout culture to determine what people will gravitate toward in the coming year.
“Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures and effects that impact color, relevant social media platforms and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention,” Laurie Pressman, Pantone Color Institute vice president, said in an interview on the company's website.
One key quality that contributed to the selection of Viva Magenta is its link to nature. The carmine dye originally used to create it and similar colors comes from the cochineal insect, a cactus-eating Mesoamerican parasite.
Looks like we’ll have to wait another year for lusty gallant, bastard-amber, or one of our other favorite obscure colors to get a chance at the Pantone title.