Bold, lush, and fearless, Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2023 signifies a shift toward optimism and unbridled creativity. While the calming hues chosen for 2021 and 2022 reflected the mood of the pandemic, Viva Magenta 18-750 is all about vim and vigor, capturing what The Pantone Color Institute believes will be the zeitgeist of the coming year. This shade is anything but shy. It’s an animated, saturated pinkish-red that projects strength, joy, and celebration, “encouraging experimentation and self-expression without restraint.”
Pantone calls Viva Magenta a nuanced crimson tone that offers a balance between warm and cool, drawing inspiration from a very organic source: the cochineal beetle. This insect produces carmine dye, one of the strongest and brightest natural dyes in the world. The psychology of this color is a rebellious softness that’s impossible to ignore, speaking to our desire to take on new challenges while meeting others with compassion.
“As we balance our digital and physical lives, we continue to grow our appreciation for the natural world,” says Pantone. “The Color of the Year 2023 acknowledges our gravitational pull towards natural colors as movements swell around climate change, sustainability, and land protection. Viva Magenta offers us the assurance and motivation we need to weather long-term disruptive events.”
“Three years deep into a pandemic, facing a war, an unstable economy, social unrest, supply chain breakdowns, and mounting climate change, we need to heal. And still, we need to find the motivation to continue. Here, Viva Magenta cloaks us in both power and grace, and sends us out into the world with the verve we’ve yearned for.”
Pantone unveiled Viva Magenta at ARTECHOUSE in Miami Beach alongside its exhibition Magentaverse. Presenting its Color of the Year as an immersive experience for the fourth year in a row, the company projected magenta-hued images captured by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and other outer space images into an animated LED tunnel. As visitors explored the exhibition, they activated a LIDAR sensor that triggered the visualization of data in real time.
Pantone also used the AI generative tool Midjourney to create a series of promotional images featuring Viva Magenta, and they’re every bit as surreal as you’d expect. That’s a fitting choice, given that Pantone sees Viva Magenta as a color “capable of driving design to create a more positive future.” Of course, the choice of the term “Magentaverse” is no accident, referring directly to the looming prospect of the metaverse in the near future.
If you want to incorporate Viva Magenta into your home this year, use it as a vibrant pop of color in a neutral setting or make it the focal point of the space in large-scale form using a painted accent wall. ArchDaily has a fantastic gallery of architectural projects that have already employed colors in a similar vein, using saturated magenta for furniture, built-in bookshelves, and even entire facades.
To get a sense of just how much Viva Magenta aims to change our collective mood for 2023, look back on the previous Colors of the Year. In 2022, Pantone chose the soothing warm bluish-purple shade Very Peri to help people get through difficult times. The company saw it as representing “courageous creativity.”
Back in early 2021, when the effects of the coronavirus pandemic were perhaps at their most dramatic (thus far, at least), Pantone announced two Colors of the Year: “Ultimate Gray” and “Illuminating” yellow, a contrast of neutral and bright shades meant to symbolize dependability and cheer.