Ultra violet has been chosen as Pantone’s colour of the year, but what does this mean for the gift and homewares industry?

What should retailers and wholesalers be looking out for? PANTONE

According to Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Colour Institute, the Pantone colour of the year now means so much more than what’s trending and is a reflection of what’s needed in our world today.

“As individuals around the world become more fascinated with colour and realise its ability to convey deep messages and meanings, designers and brands should feel empowered to use colour to inspire and influence,” she explains.

“The Colour of the Year is one moment in time that provides strategic direction for the world of trend and design, reflecting the Pantone Colour Institute’s year-round work doing the same for designers and brands.”

Executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute, Lee Eiseman, adds that as we live in a time requiring inventiveness and imagination, the blue-based purple 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,” she says.

“Complex and contemplative, ultra violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”


When it comes to home décor, ultra violet can transform a room into one of extraordinary self-expression, according to the institute, or conversely its polish can tone down a room with subdued, modern pairings. Adding spice and brightness, it can make a piece of art or accent wall really stand out. In accessories, jewellery and eyewear, ultra violet suggests the complexities of natural gems, textures, and florals.

Centre stage

As a colour that can take you in so many directions, ultra violet makes a statement in any space, whether it’s one of tradition and elegance or unexpected boldness. In hospitality, we are seeing purples like ultra violet take centre stage in interior spaces as large and small hotels harness colour and design to entice travellers and stay relevant.

In many of our homes, where black is the new black, ultra violet aesthetically works in well. Interior designers and retailers introduce this not-so-shrinking violet colour into Australian interiors as subtle highlights or a statement piece.

Set the mood

Introduce an ultra violet pop to established pale and bolder pink bedrooms or interiors to soften the impact of such an intense colour. This shade can also be partnered with pale and darker blues to stunning effect.

Or set the mood and combine ultra violet with other deep and dark materials such as the ever so popular velvet, leather or dark-coloured woods. If your customers feel really brave, why not paint an entire room in this amazing hue?

Just a glimpse

Ultra violet, if done well, can look great in the bathroom. For example, painting the cabinets or a wall to create a focus point. Artificial purple flowers are a subtle way of adding some colour to a space without going overboard. This can also be done with a wall painting. While brightening up the room with a bit of colour, it won’t be too distracting or overwhelming.

This article was first published in GiftGuide’s April digital edition.