pantone color of the year 2023, magenta, viva magenta

MAGENTA: Pantone® Names Color of 2023

Dec 04, 2022

Pantone® has officially named it - our color of the year! A day I always look forward to, especially with this year's selection. Viva Magenta 18-1750, or Hex code #be3455 if you're curious, is a red-based magenta that is taking the world by storm.

It is named an "unconventional shade for an unconventional time". A perfect description that I cannot WAIT to dive into. 




The biggest question from friends, family and brands over the last week has been...what exactly is Pantone®? Something we definitely have to clear up so you can truly understand the importance of their decision.

If you're wondering how companies all over the world - textiles, print, interiors, beauty, apparel and industrial design - integrate consistent coloring of their products...look no further than Pantone.

In 1963, Pantone® came on the scene {essentially breaking the industry in the best way} with the colorful Panton Matching System® . This revolutionized the printing industry because it enabled companies to essentially reproduce consistent, accurate color anywhere in the world.


Image Credit: Pantone® 


You can see the massive impact Pantone®  has had on everyday tools we use today. Paint swatches, fabric swatches, even Adobe, Xerox, Microsoft and Canon. They've grown to over 10,000 color standards across all of these materials like print, textiles, plastics, pigments and coatings.




Essentially, Pantone® set the standard for consumable color in our world through physical and digital products. And they didn't stop there. They formed an institute and regularly partner with brands and product developers. 

They specifically tie color to emotion - the foundations to color psychology and the effect colors have on our daily behaviors. Pantone® takes into account color trend forecasting which considers culture, trends and almost a "group mind movement".

I know it all sounds pretty complicated, but think of how incredible this is.

Pantone® has their pulse on the world. Different cultures, trends, media, manufacturing...all tied to one thing...

Where are we going?

They essentially tell the world, "let's go here this year - we can do it together".




Before I talk about my studies on magenta and why this is such a revolutionary movement, let's look at other people's responses. I knew it would be pretty loud, but I had no idea how many would react in such a strong way.

Here are a few:

  • "Passion mixed with groundedness."
  • "This color is very grounding, and peaceful."
  • "It awakens my thought processes."
  • "It means, we’re recovering from a season of great trial and uncertainty with the promise of more uncertainty so we’ll lean on a punchy color to get us through instead of the historically well established selection."
  • "Depth, romantic and excitement!"
  • "Honestly I've always been repelled by that color."
  • "This version of magenta reminds me of blood and shedding in a rebirth way not a death way."
  • "Not sure if it’s the color or the photo but it makes me feel unsettled."
  • "That’s the color of my soul 😍 


We could go on and on about expert opinions, but the only reality that truly matters is in the hearts and minds of people. 

I've said it once and I'll say it again: color is a responsive, reactive entity. It changes just like light depending on - stay with me - whether or not it's being perceived. It wants to be an active part in our communicative experience - especially with magenta.

Looking at some of these responses, what are some of your conclusions?

I see a lot of passion, good and bad. Some feel inspired, grounded and even peaceful. Others feel repelled and unsettled. No one ever says they feel nothing with magenta. The color's sheer nature explains why.





The color magenta, unlike pink, is a combination of purple and red. Purple/violet is the color with the shortest wavelength, red is the color with the longest wavelength. Do you see how bizarre this is? Technically, the color should really be impossible to make, but here it is pulling us in two totally different directions with one hex code.

Magenta and pink are colors our mind, in all actuality, makes up. Our brains "create" the color because of what the rods and cones in our eyes are doing.

So here we are, seeing a color our brains create as a mental reaction while we are reacting emotionally to its creation.

Very bizarre - and so unbelievably fascinating!

The color magenta was named after The Battle Of Magenta due to the color of the earth after an intense battle. Originally named fuschine after the fuscia flower, the inventors renamed it to tribute the battle of their countrymen. It's important to understand these roots because most people think magenta is pink, but it is in no way similar in human reaction when perceived.

When people see pink, they feel calm. They usually feel more feminine. This color was painted in jails to calm people down and it did.

It's impossible to get your heartrate past a certain beats per minute when surrounding yourself with pink.

Magenta has none of these qualities. Magenta sparks reactions, rebellion and going against the grain.

The first time it was heavily shoved into the political arena was during the United States Presidency of Ronald Reagan. Protests were staged across the country at rock concerts with people adorning shirts that said "Rock Against Reagan". 


Image Credit: Smithsonian


People were at war with the president and showing their rebellion by wearing magenta.

Then magenta became tied to women's rights - we saw this color worn by many politicians in 2022 with the Supreme Court's abortion ruling.

You can stand on whatever political line you want, but the truth remains, people have used magenta to express their rebellion.

They've even been attracted to the color in what phone they use.


Image Credit: T-Mobile


T-Mobile has revolutionized the phone industry. Coming in as an underdog, they outranked AT&T as the #2 wireless phone carrier in less than 5 years.

Honestly, how is this possible? Why?

Simply because they say one thing: we want you to be different.

They call themselves the "uncarrier". They want the runaways, the different, the "weird". Be who you are HERE.

It's no mystery why they are so incredibly successful.

They understand the power of magenta, who it will attract, and they harness the messaging of the color itself.




You're right, the biggest question is: why does Pantone® think this is the world's color headed into 2023?

Probably for the same reason I knew it would be this color. The world wants to wake back up.

We've been under a deluge of agitation, reclusiveness, divisiveness and suppression for over two years now. People are DONE.

They want to create again. They want to feel again. They want to move again.

I believe this is why magenta's chosen tone is so red-based. Red is a color of action, passion and even anger. It boosts the heart rate, the blood pressure, even pupil dilation.

A red-based magenta says "RUN! Start your revolution NOW!".

That may be as simple as travelling again. It could be a total reversal in one's career. Whatever the change may be, personally or in groups, it will be drastic and fast-moving.

Cultures themselves may change. Political parties may change - or even merge. Values may pivot, travel may explode, old systems will collapse and new ones will form.

It's a tale as old as time, but not one that we've seen too much of in our lifetimes {at least mine of 37 years}.

This color is a symbol of deep, lasting change that we ourselves will bring forth and execute into our reality.

Truly an "unconventional shade for an unconventional time."




Every color has a vibration or frequency. Meaning, you could stand in the sun and get the light frequency of green that your body would use to make hormones. You could also put on a green shirt and the color itself has a specific vibration. You could also play the musical equivalent of green and your body would absorb it in the same way.

I know it's a very complex concept, but it's important to understand, especially when figuring out how to use magenta in your life.

Magenta will help you be bolder and make bigger changes. 

  • If your business revolves around those types of actions? Time to inject it into your branding!
  • If you need more of that in your personal life, this is the perfect color to wear or put in your environment.
  • If you have a child that is dealing with indecisiveness or feeling stuck in indecision or fear of action, bring more of this color into their environment. 


Me? I couldn't be more excited to see what's ahead! I know my life has had some huge pivots recently and will continue to shift in 2023. How about you?





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