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We look at the colour of the year and how PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet will influence events and marketing

Complex, contemplative, provocative, and thoughtful. All words used to describe this year’s colour of the year – Ultra Violet PANTONE 18-3838.

Each year we wait in anticipation for the reveal of the famous colour of the year – a snapshot prediction of trends to come. And this year, we couldn’t be more excited with the result. A sign of the times we live in, Ultra Violet is a shade of purple, which signifies mystery, opportunity and imagination.

A stark contrast to last year’s colour of the year, greenery, which resembled nature in a call for authenticity and rawness, this year’s colour calls us to dream beyond the realms of this world, look past boundaries to innovate, dig deeper, explore and imagine a future of possibility.

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of Pantone Color Institute, explains, “We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level. From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.”

Vice President of Pantone Color Institute, Laurie Pressman, says, “Ultra Violet is provocative and communicates visionary thinking to create meaningful direction for the future.”

With everything it stands for, we can already see how Ultra Violet will be incorporated into future event themes and design projects.

How Ultra Violet will affect the events industry this coming year:

Themes, entertainment and venues

Let your imagination run wild as events in 2018 take inspiration from Ultra Violet. Gala dinners and award ceremonies will lean towards themes exploring the vastness of the galaxy and its mysteries, using venues such as planetariums to set the scene.

Events and conferences will harness new technologies and allocate more time to reflect, perhaps building in idea tank sessions to incorporate imagination and innovation. We expect a rise in futurists, astrologists and tech talks in 2018.

As part of the move to allow for artistic expression, you can expect conferences to be hosted in creative spaces like art galleries, cinemas or secluded destinations.

With the colour’s association with spiritual reflection, activations, conferences and events will create spaces for mindfulness, meditation or unique ways to connect with a deeper self.


The purple hue will also come through in food at events. Look out for purple desserts and theatrical cocktails that will look out of this world. Because this is the colour of many antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, healthier snacks will be trending on plates at this year’s events and conferences.

Lighting and décor

Look out for galaxy-inspired AVs and purple-toned lighting at conferences and exhibitions, which will energise and inspire deeper personal connections.

In terms of décor, envision Ultra Violet velvet seating, purple luminous lighting features and Chevronica stone crystal representing the celestial galaxy. Event goers might even expect Ultra Violet smoke flares as a (non-toxic) extraordinary addition to events.

How Ultra Violet will affect the branding industry this coming year:

Watch out for a rise in challenger brands. Ultra Violet is the colour of nonconformity, so brands and products will use the colour as a rebellious statement to symbolise originality, creativity and visionary thinking.

Brands will use the dramatic Pantone to make bold statements, push boundaries, inspire and influence.

The new Pantone will break the associations traditionally made with purple as being ‘too religious’ or ‘feminine’. Instead, consumers will begin to see it as a colour of optimism that can work powerfully to subconsciously elevate a brand to trend.

Watch out for branding themes resembling cosmos and space. Design-wise, Ultra Violet will gain inspiration from the 1990s – loud, graphic and bold.

The announcement of the provocative 2018 Pantone certainly sets the scene for an eventful year.

Will it be part of your brand statement?