A close relative to carmine, crimson red or deep raspberry, Viva Magenta, Pantone’s Color of the Year 2023, exudes a sense of va-va-voom. Likened to “a fist in a velvet glove” by Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman, the beauty of Viva Magenta is its ability to playfully position itself on either side of seeming dichotomies. Indeed, the color is bold enough to break the mold while remaining inviting, accessible, and surprising across a wide variety of contexts and applications.
“It’s a nuanced crimson red tone that presents a balance between warm and cool, making it what we call a hybrid color,” Eiseman says. “It’s audacious, it’s witty, it’s inclusive of all…it’s an easily embraceable color.”
Intense pink-red hues have already been making headway everywhere from the runway (see: Valentino’s spring-summer ’22 showing) to the metaverse, making residential and commercial interiors a natural next step. According to Eiseman, kitchens (and kitchen appliances), which have long harbored a respect for red, can be imbued with “a touch of newness” via Viva Magenta and its ability to break away from the “same old red tone” that defined previous generations. The Pantone Color of the Year 2023 is also “gorgeous” on glassware or anything else with a reflective surface, and it can empower even pillows or tabletop accents to make a “beautiful, dramatic, and theatrical statement in the home.”
Though such a vivacious color may have registered as intimidating in years past, Pantone asserts that consumers are more ready than ever to start embracing the full possibilities of color. “We’ve had ongoing color word association studies for years, [and] people have reached a point now where they’re a bit braver with where they might use a touch of color,” Eiseman indicates. “And a touch doesn’t mean just a pillow just to throw on the sofa anymore. A touch can mean a couple of walls.”
In an effort to help consumers approach Viva Magenta from a position of greater confidence, Pantone has placed its 2023 Color of the Year in four distinct palettes: It adds a fiery burst of color to the otherwise calm, neutral-leaning Ignite palette. It unites the whole spectrum of flesh tones that compose Family Ties. In Resonance, Viva Magenta adds a bit of drama on top of coinciding rich hues, then it slips seamlessly into the warm palette of Equilibrium.
This year, Pantone is also making a big push for the color to star in the metaverse—or more accurately, the Magentaverse. With help from the AI art tool Midjourney and creative partner Huge, the brand has created an immersive digital world that explores the color’s core themes and ideas, while examining its connection to both natural and purely digital realms.
That experience will come to life at Pantone’s Artechouse exhibition, opening to the public on December 3 as part of Art Basel Miami Beach. It’s a new avenue for Pantone—and a signal for Viva Magenta’s countless possibilities. “It really gets the idea of writing a new narrative with a color,” Eiseman shares. “We haven’t done red in a while for obvious reasons, but now we feel we’re really ready to excite the imagination.”