Are We Feeling ‘Blue’?


For anyone who’s ever undertaken a home improvement project, the colors you choose can make all the difference. Two years ago, we did a complete renovation of our circa 1970s kitchen. Selecting a new floor, cabinets and countertops was a pleasure but when we got down to choosing a color for the walls we were stumped. After several trips to the Lowe’s paint department and half a dozen tester pints of paint later, we finally hit on a winner—Onion Powder OL689.2 turned out to be the final touch we had been searching for. It literally “finished” the job and completely tied together the look, feel and design of our new space. Who knew color could be so important?

Getting ahead of the Classic Blue color curve is Hugo 1094/S, one of Safilo’s
newest Spring 2020 offerings.

The folks at the Pantone Color Institute know a thing or two about color and the effect it can have on creating just the right mood or atmosphere. The Pantone Color Institute is the business unit within Pantone that highlights the top seasonal runway colors, selects the Pantone Color of the Year, forecasts global color trends, and advises companies on color for product and brand visual identity.

For over 20 years, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in many industries, including fashion, home furnishings, industrial design, product packaging, graphic design, and yes, even eyewear. (Jobson, always ahead of fashion trends, anticipated the power of blue in VM’s May StylePages feature, Something Blue and in 20/20 Magazine’s Blue Skies Ahead featuring Today Show’s Al Roker’s electric blue Dom Vetro frames.)

Classic Blue 19-4052, which Pantone describes as “a timeless and enduring blue hue elegant in its simplicity” has been named the Pantone color of the year for 2020. Here’s Pantone’s take on why Classic Blue stands out: “Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era. Suggestive of the sky at dusk, the reassuring qualities of the thought-provoking Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue highlight our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”

Today Show's Al Roker wearing
 electric blue Dom Vetro frames.

In other words, it seems like Pantone thinks we need something soothing as we head into a new decade. Could it be because a lot of us are anxious about the 2020 elections? Climate change? The impeachment? Gun violence? The cost of health care? You can name your poison when it comes to anxiety-producing issues. And while there’s plenty to be upset about heading into 2020, Pantone is hoping by celebrating Classic Blue they’ve found the antidote.

“Imprinted in our psyches as a restful color, Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge. Aiding concentration and bringing laser like clarity, Classic Blue re-centers our thoughts. A reflective blue tone, Classic Blue fosters resilience,” according to Pantone.

In a fast-paced technologically focused society, “we gravitate to colors that are honest and offer the promise of protection.” Pantone describes Classic Blue as “non-aggressive and easily relatable.” In short, the color “lends itself to relaxed interaction…associated with the return of another day, this universal favorite is comfortably embraced.”

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute summed it all up. “We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on. Imbued with a deep resonance, Classic Blue provides an anchoring foundation. A boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite 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.”

Here’s what the Twitterverse is saying about Classic Blue.

FIT Library (the Library at the Fashion Institute of Technology) asks is Classic Blue the “new black?” Photo courtesy of FIT Library via Instagram.

Vogue Magazine outlines 17 ways to wear Classic Blue, noting “Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2020 has cropped up on a number of runway shows already.” Photo courtesy of Vogue Magazine via Instagram.

Better Homes & Gardens offers tips on how to use Classic Blue throughout the home next year. Photo courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens via Instagram.

Just in time for the Holidays, Forbes Life’s Holiday Gift Guide explores the best travel products in Classic Blue. Photo courtesy of Forbes Life via Instagram.

Art UK tells the story of blue in art. Photo courtesy of Art UK via Instagram.