The world of color returns to its roots with the Pantone Color Institute announcing a traditional and true blue as its 2020 Color of the Year. Deemed Classic Blue, the color has been described as “a timeless and enduring hue elegant in its simplicity” with the ability to “highlight our desire for a dependable and stable foundation from which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”

Pantone adds that the cool, yet stark, blue shade is suggestive of the sky at dusk, imprinting as a restful color and bringing a sense of peace and tranquility. With today’s fast-paced society, people “gravitate to colors that are honest and offer the promise of protection” and Classic Blue is a tried-and-true favorite that has always been comfortably embraced.


“We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, in a press release. “A boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky, Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication.”

To bring the color to life, Pantone tapped into the five senses and made Classic Blue (PANTONE 19-4052) the first multi-sensory color of the year. Sensory partners, such as digital art destination Artechouse, audio branding agency Audio UX, and fragrance and flavor company Firmenich, brought the color to life through sight, sound, smell, taste, and texture for the company’s big reveal in Manhattan Wednesday night.

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“As we all head into a new era, we wanted to challenge ourselves to find inspiration from new sources that not only evolve our Color of the Year platform, but also help our global audiences achieve richer and more rewarding color experiences,” adds Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute. “This desire, combined with the emotional properties of Classic Blue, motivated us to expand beyond the visual, to bring the 2020 Pantone Color of the Year to life through a multi-sensory experience.”