Pantone Colour Of The Year 2018: Ultraviolet

Every December the global colour institute Pantone reveal ‘the colour of the year’ based on their trend forecasts for the design world, influencing interiors, fashion and business branding.

Pantone consultants announced that 2018 would be year of Ultra Violet [ 18-3838 ] a deep blue-based shade, described as “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future”. Pantone references the cosmic night sky, endless possibility, mystery and a sense of non-conformity championed in western culture by legendary musicians like Prince and David Bowie.

I’m fascinated with colour and the psychological associations we all have with the glorious spectrum. Branding and styling is based around the feelings and experiences colour brings, which is why so much thought goes into palettes for my clients and the ways in which colour tells stories to convey intentional messages.

So, what are your first impressions of purple?

When I think of the colour purple in general, immediate words that spring to mind are: Spirituality, royalty, respect, luxury, indulgence and sensuality. I have worn purple at some highly significant moments in my own life; when I graduated university, at my business launch party and to my grandmother’s funeral when there was ‘a no black’ request in her honour.

Other connotations I associate with this hue are melt-in-mouth orgasmic chocolate adverts by Cadburys, the lavender fields I visited in summer, velvet cloths on church alters, amethyst crystals, the ‘third eye’ chakra and a satin shirt I wore in the late 1990’s (oh yes).

Of course, within any colour are endless individual tones and hues that each create different vibrations within us. This particular blue tinted version of violet from Pantone is expressing a unique set of associations, centred around artistic reflection, mysterious midnight skies and spiritual reflection.

Sign. Me. Up.


After the big colour reveal I was delighted, yet quite surprised to read a plethora of lacklustre responses online and across social media. It seems many folks really weren’t quite on board with this bold, brave tone. I wonder if it’s such a stark contrast from the blush pink and lush greenery selections of the past two years that have become so familiarly comfortable, a millennial inspired backdrop for trendy cafes, Instagram worthy stationary sets and tropical themed, well, everything!

I can’t help but interpret this colour as what the world needs. The political, social climate around us has been dark, challenging and disrupted, particularly in the past two years. We’ve all willingly sought escapism in pretty pastels and tropical scenes in our Instagram feed, wardrobes and wallpapers. Yes, there were powerful protests and marches and mayhem – but now I feel we have a colour that perfectly matches this mood to raise our vibration.  

I don’t know about you, but I already sense a huge shift in the online cosmos. It’s only the first week of the year and I have read multiple posts online about people changing their attitudes this year. No more exclusion, no more inequality, no more negativity – but action. People are evaluating themselves and adopting a deeper, more mindful approach to everything from what’s on their plate (a rise in veganism) and what they put on their face (organic, cruelty free beauty and skincare) to how they spend their time (less scrolling, more connectivity) and how they care for themselves (mental health matters.)

Alongside this action, is looking inwards to heal outwards. Turning to an enticing cocktail of mysticism and mindfulness to make positive change. Sophie Amoruso’s Inspiring network GIRLBOSS has just announced a new ‘cosmic comfort zone’ podcast dedicated to self-care and alternative topics including Tarot and astrology. The Sunday Times’s mystic podcaster Shelley Von Strunckel is also launching a weekly podcast dedicated to all things mystic.

I cannot think of a better colour to see us through into a more conscientious time than Ultra Violet.

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So, if you’re not feelin’ the violet vibes just yet, here are my suggestions of some ways to take inspiration from this powerful colour and inject it into your life…..



Invite this dreamy hue into your home in a subtle way if it seems too dramatic at first with decorative accessories, such as a vase, cushion, mug or blanket. Scour your local charity shops and vintage stores for purple goodies, set yourself a second-hand challenge!

Fancy a splash of violet with your cooking? French brand Le Creuset have just debuted a brand-new line of their famed enamel cookware in Ombre purple to pale lilac, called ‘Provence’. I’m certain other homeware retailers will embrace this trend so keep your eyes peeled.

Purple and velvet are the ultimate love match if you opt for a sofa or individual armchairs to make a statement! Other bold interior styling moves could be a wall tapestry, artwork, bedding, rugs and accent walls behind shelves to add a pop of cosmic colour.




Funnily enough, my vintage store What Alice Found sold more purple clothing than any other colour in the past three months! After seeing Noel Fielding sporting a deep purple cape on ‘The big fat quiz of the year’ I feel more confident than ever that purple is an evocative and exciting colour to wear.

If it’s really not a shade that suits your style, other ways to get violet into your wardrobe could be through playful decoration, think; bag charms, skinny scarves, scrunchies (you know you want to), jewellery, handbags, wallets or phone cases.



Violet is associated with the third eye chakra located in the centre of your forehead, you can tap into its energy with the help of aided meditations (there’s a great selection on YouTube). Purple crystals or gemstones can help balance and heal, including; amethyst, fluorite, lapis lazuli and quartz.

Ever heard of Chakra colour therapy glasses? Wear for 30 minutes to experience the mood altering and healing effects of the different light spectrums.

Struggling to sleep? I can highly recommend a light spritz of lavender spray on your pillow to encourage you to relax and drift off.

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Do you like the colour of the year 2018? Tell me your thoughts on Instagram or twitter @nysm_styling

AUTHOR: Nicki Grainger of NYSM Styling

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