Everything You Need To Know About the 2022 Color of the Year

Last Updated On September 17, 2021

Are you wondering what the Pantone 2022 Color of the Year will be?

You’ve come to the right place!

In this ProPaintCorner.com guide, you’ll learn:

  • Why they started the Color of the Year (COTY)
  • How they choose the Color of the Year
  • What we predict the 2022 color will be

And much more!

Everything You Need To Know About the 2022 Color of the Year

So, if you’re looking to get ahead of the trends and find ways to incorporate the color into your decor, keep reading!

For more than two decades, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced the development of products and consumer decisions in many industries. These industries include home furnishings, fashion, graphic design, product packaging, and industrial design. 

Pantone’s Color of the Year (COTY) has inspired other companies to release their own “color of the year” choices for exterior and interior walls that reflect the themes of the year. 

The Pantone COTY is unveiled every year in December by a group of color experts from different industries. This explains why the paint and color industry experts, bloggers, and influencers are starting to go into a frenzy attempting to predict the COTY for 2022. 

We took some time to follow the 2022 COTY predictions. This article will also summarize the history of Pantone's COTY, describe the color of the year selection process, how the winning color influences color trends, and how you can incorporate it into your interior design.

What Is the Pantone Color of the Year?   

When you hear that a company is a color company, it’s easy to think that we are talking about a design or paint company. However, regarding Pantone, this is not the case. The company provides a color matching system known as the Pantone Color System. 

An article published by Vectornator.io, the provider of graphic design software, calls the Pantone Color System “a sort of ‘color bible’ that ensures that people across the world are all using the same colors in their printed material and designs.” Adding, “This is especially crucial in the manufacturing and design industries, where color accuracy is a vital part of successful design.” 

Pantone owns a division known as the Pantone Color Institute. According to Pantone, this “is the business unit within Pantone that highlights the top seasonal runway colors, selects the Pantone Color of the Year, forecasts global color trends, and advises companies on color for product and brand visual identity.” 

Ben Barnhart writes for Vectornator.io. He advances the opinion that “The Pantone Color of the Year is a force to be reckoned with; creating many wide-ranging and trendsetting influences in the design industry and the product design world.” 

From Humble Beginnings 

The first Pantone COTY was unveiled in 2000

Pantone may have grown in the last two decades to become a “force to be reckoned with,” but a blog article published by the print solutions provider StrategicFactory.com tells the story of humble beginnings. 

Flower color palette

StrategicFactory.com says, “What started off as an ‘afterthought’ that was discussed between a few individuals in the fourth quarter of the year has transformed into a 20-person team – the Pantone Color Institute – that begins global research early in the spring, looking for recurring patterns or colors in daily life situations.” Adding, “The process now takes nearly nine months.”   

The idea of the COTY’s humble beginnings is supported by an article published by the home and decor site, ApartmentTherapy.com. The article reports that “The world first started paying attention to the COTY selection … in the earlier part of this decade.” 

ApartmentTherapy.com adds that “now the COTY really does drive trends and has spawned other color of the year franchises from paint companies to cosmetics and beyond.” 

Selecting the Pantone COTY

Pantone says that the COTY “selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis.” The company reports that “To arrive at the selection each year, Pantone’s color experts at Pantone Color Institute comb the world looking for new color influences.” 

According to Pantone, the new color influences that guide the decisions of those who select the COTY “can include the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, playstyles, and socio-economic conditions.” 

Evaluating color palettes

Other influences impacting the selection of the COTY could also emerge “from new technologies, materials, textures, and effects that impact color, relevant social media platforms, and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.” 

COTY in the Last Five Years

To get an idea of the types of colors featured in the Pantone COTY, we look at the colors crowned in the last five years. 

2017: Greenery

Pantone described the 2017 COTY as “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore, and renew.” Adding that it is “Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.”  

2018: Ultra Violet

When Pantone named Ultra Violet as the color of the year in 2018, the company described the color as “A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade … [which] communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.” 

2019: Living Coral 

When Pantone announced that Living Coral was the color of the year for 2019, Banu Ibrahim wrote an article for CNN advising readers, “Get ready to see ‘Living Coral’ in your clothing, tech gadgets, home decor, and more come 2019.” 

In her approval of the 2019 COTY, Ibrahim says, “To us, Living Coral feels like that fresh, vibrant hue that we’re all looking for to kick off the new year, especially when we’re trying to escape from the cold dreariness of winter.” She adds, “Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it works well in your home, wardrobe, beauty cabinets, and office spaces.”  

2020: Classic Blue 

Introducing classic blue as the color of the year, Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, indicated that “We are living in a time that requires trust and faith.” She added that classic blue is a “solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on.” 

2021: Ultimate Gray + Illuminating

In a selection that looks evocative of the pain we all had to go through because of Covid-19, Pantone selected Ultimate Gray as the COTY for 2021. 

The selection of Ultimate Gray + Illuminating was inspired by the desire to send “A message of happiness supported by fortitude” to encourage, motivate, and give hope. In what looks like a response to the tough times, Pantone adds that “We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter – this is essential to the human spirit.” 

Predicting COTY for 2022

With only a few months to go before the 2022 COTY is unveiled, predictions from all corners are being made regarding the color that will be crowned this year. However, we have noticed that most of the predictions are influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, from which the world is slowly starting to emerge.   

A Journey Toward Something New 

For the paint and coating manufacturer Sherwin Williams, 2022 is likely to be dominated by “hues that embrace creativity, intention, and exploration to create a space of inspiration as we journey toward something new.” 

Mustard Is Going Nowhere 

Writing for RealHomes.com, a website that advises on creating a dream home on a budget, Millie Hurst predicts that 2022 will be a year to embrace mustard.

In a prediction that seems to be influenced by the hardships of the last two years, Hurst quotes the color curator Joa Studholme from Farrow & Ball. Studholme says, “In 2022, we will relish brighter colors that herald a return to normality.” 

Studholme also suggests that “The cheerful and uncomplicated Babouche … is the perfect tone for this task.” Adding, “While bold, it never feels garish or overpowering.”   

Promoting a Sense of Well-Being 

The home and lifestyle blog, LetsGetRizzy.com, predicts a world slowly emerging from the pandemic “running with the tried and true horses,” as reflected in the 2022 color choices. The site says that “Over 30% of the colors trending are carried over from former seasons as a more cautious approach is reflected in color choices.” 

These “tried and true horses” that LetsGetRizzy.com refers to will have “more pinks than reds.” According to the lifestyle blog, some of the specific contenders for COTY include Olive Green, Orchid, Butter Yellow, Mango Orange, and Atlantic Blue.         

It’s Olive Sprig for PPG

The Meredith Home Group-owned Better Homes and Gardens reports that the paint company PPG was the first to announce its selection for the 2022 COTY. The company selected Olive Sprig. 

Better Homes and Gardens writes that “Reminiscent of a soothing aloe vera plant or velvety sage leaves, the gray-green color was chosen to represent regrowth and the resiliency of nature as we adapt to new ways of living post-pandemic.” 

Incorporating COTY Into Your Interior Design

Pantone's COTY is more than an event that defines a trending color; it has become the standard that influences and inspires people as they design products and lifestyles. However, to fully take advantage of the COTY in your interior design, there are a few things you need to take into account. 

If you consider that we are talking about the color of the year and not the color of the decade, you would want to incorporate the COTY in a way that allows you to easily make changes later on. 

Interior design color palette

For instance, Lauren Edmonds uses an article published by Insider.com to advise interior designers “to avoid making a commitment” and to steer clear of applying the COTY in ways that make changing colors and design difficult afterward. 

The idea that less is more when it comes to incorporating the COTY in your interior design is supported by Melonee Hurt in an article published by Tennessean.com. She says, “But as with any statement color, a little can go a long way.” 

Referring to the 2020 COTY (Classic Blue), Hurt argues that “Just because everyone is talking Classic Blue right now doesn’t mean you need to paint the entire exterior of your home or every wall in your open floor plan a deep shade of midnight blue.”

Meet Your Pro Paint Corner Author

Phil Ash

Phil Ash

After running my own painting business and 20+ years of painting experience, I’m still learning new things everyday about how to nail the perfect paint job. In addition to myself, I started Pro Paint Corner to connect you with painting experts to provide unbiased answers to all your painting questions.

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Phil Ash

Phil Ash

After running my own painting business and 20+ years of painting experience, I’m still learning new things everyday about how to nail the perfect paint job. In addition to myself, I started Pro Paint Corner to connect you with painting experts to provide unbiased answers to all your painting questions.

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