Bryan Taylor

Pantone Color of the Year 2019: Drawn’s Pick

Dear Pantone,

I thought I’d save you the trouble of having to decide the 2019 Pantone Color of the Year, since it is fairly obvious to all of us that it will be Pantone 302.

This year kicked off with a film that was deeply saturated in PMS 302. The Shape of Water was well-written, directed, produced, acted, and colored. The intense and nostalgic 302 set an appropriately aged tone for the story, set in the mid-20th century, and was supported by the dark intensity of 3035, shades of 7688 through 7694, and hydrated with 2288.

Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water, saturated in PMS 302. Photo: Screenshot/Fox Searchlight

Other filmmakers apparently agreed, as Pantone 302 found its way onto so many film sets throughout 2018. It was featured prominently in the darkly vintage Anon, The Man in the High Castle’s alternate history, as well as handfuls of other films and shows. (It will presumably be prevalent in Aquaman later this year.) This reflective hue could also be found on stage at London's Royal Court Theatre, where designer Es Devlin created an all-blue set for Dennis Kelly’s Girls & Boys.

Pantone 302-tinged stills from 2018 films and television series. Clockwise from top left: The Man in the High Castle, Ozark, and Anon. Photos: Screenshots/Amazon, Netflix, K5 Film

The rich and contemplative Pantone 302 is also poised to be well represented in this summer’s fashions, as predicted by the Spring/Summer 2019 Color Trend Highlights, which leads with a cousin of 302, Pantone 19-4119: Blueberry Pancake.

Last year, our agency moved into a new home and painted the doors Pantone Ultra Violet 18-3838 (or the closest paint match) — just a few months before it was named Color of the Year. So, we decided to make it two in a row by choosing PMS 302 to accent PublicHouse, a local tap house and food hall that we designed this year. We wrapped its booths in Pantone 302 and painted the walls of its whiskey library 302 to frame an intimate and timeless setting.

Every year is memorable for a handful of reasons, but 2018 seems to have also been reflective of bygone years — slowing down time, perhaps speculating on historical events that could have been, might have been, or might one day become. It presented “a strong longing that isn’t the present,” to quote the slow and pensive film Nostalgia, and that seems a fitting reason for Pantone 302 to be the color of 2019, the hue of sophisticated introspection.

So now that we all agree on the Color of the Year for 2019, we can begin to think about all of the other colors that have yet to brightly cast the year to come.


Bryan Taylor
Drawn Agency
Eugene, Oregon