Pantone has spoken. The hue that will influence the year ahead is — drum roll, please — Viva Magenta. The worldwide color authority releases its Color of the Year every December, and its 2023 pick, released Thursday, is a vivid cousin of the red family. Described as “a subtle red tone” that blends warm and cold, Viva Magenta is “an unexpected hue for an unorthodox moment,” Pantone said in a statement introducing its decision.

pantone 2023
"Powerful and empowering, it is an animated red that encourages experimentation and self-expression without restraint; an electrifying, boundaryless shade." Pantone said of this year's choice. Credit: Pantone.

What is Viva Magenta?

Pantone’s Color of The Year, Viva Magenta 18-1750, vibrates with energy and passion. It is a shade based in nature descending from the red family and evocative of a fresh signal of power. Viva Magenta is courageous and fearless, and a throbbing hue whose enthusiasm encourages a cheerful and positive celebration, forging a new story.

This year’s Color of The Year is strong and empowering. It is a new lively red that revels in full excitement, enabling experimentation and self-expression without limitation, an energizing, and a boundaryless shade that is developing as a stand-out statement. PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta embraces everybody and everyone with the same passion for life and rebellious attitude. It is a hue that is daring, full of humor and welcoming to everybody.

pantone-2023-viva magenta
The Pantone Color Institute's choice is intended to reflect the latest design trends and the wider zeitgeist. Credit: Pantone.

In years defined by uncertainty, this has frequently meant hues that soothe, quiet or elevate. Amid the continuing epidemic, Viva Magenta signifies comfort, confidence and connection in a world struggling to get back on its feet, according to Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute.

“We are living in quite the unorthodox moment. The only thing that has become conventional is the unconventionality of it,” she told CNN during a video conversation. “While there have been so many factors that have played into our thinking, so many things that have informed and impacted what’s taken place and the adjustments we’ve had to make, there’s no question that the overarching effect has been Covid.”

Courtesy of Pantone Institute

Nature's inspiration

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said the shade was inspired by the natural red dye created from microscopic insects called cochineals.

“As virtual worlds become a more important part of our everyday lives, we strive to take inspiration from nature and what is genuine,” Eiseman said in a press release, adding: ” Rooted in the primeval, Viva Magenta reconnects us to original substance. Invoking the energies of nature, it galvanizes our soul, allowing us to create our inner strength.”

Cochineals, the small insects that inspired Pantone's color of 2023. Credit: Huge.
This year’s announcement is accompanied by a new Miami exhibition that opens to the public Saturday. Dubbed the “Magentaverse,” it explores the “dynamic between Artificial Intelligence and human creativity” through interactive rooms featuring visual, auditory and tactile experiences linked to Viva Magenta.

Color boost: How vivid hues in your home can lift your mood

The company is no stranger to unconventional picks: In 2016, it chose a gradient made from two shades, Rose Quartz and Serenity, to reflect a year defined by shifting discussions around gender. In 2020, it picked not one but two colors — Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (a vibrant yellow) — to capture both the resilience and optimism shown during the first year of the pandemic.
Last year Pantone picked a periwinkle hue called Very Peri, marking the first time the company manufactured a new shade for the title instead of delving into its archive.
5/5 - (4 votes)