When it comes to color, Pantone is a bountiful resource. The 60-year-old company standardizes color production for print, digital, manufacture, and other purposes. It also shares fashions and inspirations gathered from its international network of color spies.

At the end of each calendar year, these scouts gather to talk over the trends they’ve noticed, do some collective soul-searching, and name a Pantone Color of the Year that epitomizes the spirit of the year to come. Last year’s shade, Greenery, was chosen to evoke springtime and new beginnings. (Read into that what you will.) Whereas this year’s color, Ultra Violet, is “inventive and imaginative,” lighting the way “to what is yet to come.”

Whether focused on the future, on new beginnings, or like the 2012 pick Tangerine Tango, on moving forward, Pantone’s annual color refresh feels symbolic of our global fascination with change and progress. It’s telling that the color is picked before its reign begins—as opposed to being honored for its accomplishments of the previous year.

So, do we feel an entire year of ultraviolet love is within us? Or will we find our enthusiasm flagging by the time Labor Day rolls around?

Don’t worry about it. As Brittany counsels our puppet relations consultant Marcheta in the video below, it’s okay to use other colors, too.

 

On our homepage, you can interact with digital coloring pages that let you see how Ultra Violet looks next to Colors of the Year from the past decade. And you can save your experiments if you think you’ll need them again—for future reference.

If you’re reading this in the very distant future, when colors aren’t even a thing anymore or our homepage billboard has changed, you can travel back in time and find those interactive coloring pages here.