Pantone®, the global authority on all things color, has named a new Color of the Year for 2019: PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral. On the surface, its lively effervescence evokes both lighthearted playfulness and bold self-expression. But it’s worth diving a little deeper to really appreciate this rich, thought-provoking shade.

Because what is living coral? It’s a community of tiny organisms who work together to build unique, bustling underwater cities. The vivid tones of the coral reef is a visual representation of community, vitality, and diversity. Here on land, this hue likewise reflects our communitarian spirit: through digital technology and social media, our world is more closely networked—but at the same time, this online closeness makes us crave authentic offline interactions and meaningful connections all the more. This color acutely signifies that need for communication and engagement.

“With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial PANTONE Living Coral hit a responsive chord,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.

While PANTONE 16-1546 can add a refreshing, carefree whimsy to any home, it’s certainly a staple of the Mediterranean, where brilliantly-coloured mansions are reminiscent of barrier islands rising from the reefs.