Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year, Classic Blue, Offers Confidence and Clarity

Posted by Ben Thompson on 12.15.19

As we get ready to usher in a new decade, Pantone announced a very safe selection for 2020’s color of the year - Classic Blue.  It’s not flashy, unusual or unexpected, but rather a very typical, basic blue, described as the color of the sky at dusk.  We’ve become accustomed to the world-renowned color experts making surprising selections like last year’s Living Coral or the unconventional choice they made in 2016 by crowning two colors instead of one with Rose Quartz and Serenity. We were curious about how this selection came about and why and here’s what we found out.

How is the Color of the Year Selected?

Each year, the experts at Pantone carefully study a wide variety of influences around the world before arriving at their final selection. They will look at popular travel destinations, art, fashion, movies, and all areas of design, as well as lifestyle and socio-economic conditions. This year the pros felt that there was a word-wide sense of anticipation of what’s to come as we enter a new decade. Classic Blue represents dependability, confidence and clarity in a time when many need it.

In September, we blogged about Sherwin Williams and PPG both selecting shades of blue for their colors of the year. Coincidence? You be the judge. Sherwin Williams’ Naval, a nautical blue, is said to evoke calmness, grounding and even confidence to those in its presence. Chinese Porcelain, PPG’s selection, is a combination of cobalt and ink blue and is meant to bring a sense of serenity and hopefulness. Sounds like all the color experts were thinking the same way this year! 

If you are looking for some easy ways to introduce Classic Blue into your home, here are a few low cost options:

  • Paint or wallpaper a focal wall
  • Add a patterned or solid colored area rug
  • Accent furnishings or bedding with throw pillows
  • Update your window treatments
  • Use candles, a vase, dishes, and/or glassware to highlight the shade


Topics: Featured, color, color of the year, color trends, design