Welcome to your blue New Year

Today is Blue Monday: the day that people, in the Northern Hemisphere at least, are supposed to find the most depressing of the year. The idea arose in 2005 when a press release mentioned the date and the “equation” behind it. Given that a holiday company trying to drum up summer bookings paid for the research and issued the press release, perhaps we ought to take the Blue Monday claim with a substantial pinch of salt.

Another blue – Classic Blue – has also been in the news. You may have missed the headlines about Pantone choosing its “colour of the year” for 2020, but the company describes Pantone 19-4052 as “a timeless and enduring hue that is a reaction to our fast-moving society”.

The colour company chooses a different shade for every year; last year, it was Living Coral, in case you were wondering. This time, Pantone has pushed the fun even further. For its 2020 splash, the company collaborated with “sensory experts” to take the shade beyond a mere colour swatch. The company invited creatives from the fields of music, food, fashion, beauty and technology to imagine Classic Blue as “a sound, a smell, a taste, and a feeling”.

What, you must wonder, is the taste of Classic Blue? Stilton? Blueberries? Bleach?

There are, undoubtedly, trends in colour choices for interior design and fashion items, but what is the significance of naming a colour for 2020? Is this meaningless marketing puff or the sign of a deeper truth about social trends? Can one colour capture the design zeitgeist?

The highly skilled and experienced designers I work with were, on the whole, a little sceptical about that. They saw no benefit in limiting design choices to conform to a faddish style. Good design, they say, has a lifetime of more than 12 months. So, whatever your communication objectives for 2020, we can help you to find the colour combinations that will excite, inspire and inform your audience.

There’s no need to be blue.