Described as “animating and life-affirming,” PANTONE’s 2019 Color of the Year, ‘Living Coral’ is also a reminder of humans’ foolishness.
PANTONE’s vice president Laurie Pressman told Associated Press that the company is looking for a color that brings out nourishment and comfort which makes people feel good. This is because many stuff on the internet are dehumanizing therefore having color that reeks positivity is vital to many.
While the color is meant to provide good intentions, the story behind coral reefs isn’t a happy one.
According to a 2017 report by UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, experts explained that “soaring ocean temperatures in the past three years have subjected 21 of 29 World Heritage reefs to severe and/or repeated heat stress, and caused some of the worst bleaching ever observed at iconic sites like the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Papahānaumokuākea (USA), the Lagoons of New Caledonia (France) and Aldabra Atoll (Seychelles).” These coral reefs will disappear in 2100 if CO2 emissions are not reduced.
Smithsonian Institution scientists also reported that dozens of coral reefs have been affected by dead zones and many more will be threatened.
Due to coral bleaching, the temperatures of waters in The Great Barrier Reef have increased and this resulted in corals expelling the algae that originally gives them the color.
Critics are also not a fan of the color. Slate Magazine’s staff writer Christina Cauterucci accused PANTONE for “sugarcoating dystopia.” Instead of ‘Living Coral’, PANTONE should have named the new hue “The Rare Coral That Has Not Yet Been Bleached, as It Inevitably Someday Will in This Increasingly Toxic Toilet Bowl We Call Earth.”
Others hope the announcement of the new color will bring awareness to corals’ plight.[via Delaware Online, opening image via PANTONE]