The ‘Colour of the Year’ is more than just a trendsetting statement; it’s a reflection of market research, consumer behaviour, and industry insight. In this article, we explore the choices made by three leading paint brands: PPG, Dulux, and Pantone, aiming to uncover the rationale behind their annual selections.

Please note that the colours shown on this page are for representation only. For more accurate matching requirements please contact the paint manufacturers for swatches.

Methodology

Our analysis uses historical data to categorise the chosen ‘Colours of the Year’ by hue—Blue, Red, or Green—as well as their average lightness and saturation. These metrics serve as a quantifiable lens through which we examine each brand’s choices.

Historical Trends

Instances of different colour hues in manufacturers colour of the year

Pantone

Pantone seems to favour Red shades, with 15 instances, followed by Blue (8 instances), and Green (3 instances). Their average lightness and saturation metrics stand at 0.785 and 0.550, respectively.

Dulux

Dulux’s choices often align with Red (8 instances), trailed by Blue (3 instances) and Green (1 instance). Their average lightness is 0.736 and saturation is 0.461.

PPG

PPG has a balanced palette with Green (5 instances), Blue (7 instances), and Red (4 instances). Their average metrics are 0.510 for lightness and 0.500 for saturation.

Observations on the 2024 Choices

Pantone Colour of the Year 2024

Peach Fuzz


The 2024 colour, ‘Peach Fuzz,’ resonates with Pantone’s historical inclination towards warm hues, though it deviates from their typical red shades. This colour showcases high lightness and saturation, aligning with the brand’s vibrant palette.

Dulux Colour of the Year 2024

Sweet Embrace

Dulux’s 2024 choice, ‘Sweet Embrace,’ is a light Red shade. It aligns with their average lightness but has lower saturation than their average.

PPG Colour of the Year 2024

Limitless

PPG’s 2024 colour, ‘Limitless,’ is a light and moderately saturated shade. Although it fits with their average metrics, it marks a noticeable shift towards Red shades.


*Please note: The colours provided only show an example of a close match. A range of factors when providing colour on screen will affect how the colour looks. Please contact the paint manufacturers for samples.

Previous Colours of the Year

YearPantoneDuluxPPG
2024Peach FuzzSweet EmbraceLimitless
2023Viva MagentaWild WonderVining Ivy
2022Very PeriBright SkiesOlive Sprig
2021Ultimate Gray & IlluminatingBrave GroundTranscend, Big Cypress, Misty Aqua
2020Classic BlueTranquil DawnChinese Porcelain
2019Living CoralSpiced HoneyNight Watch
2018Ultra VioletHeart WoodBlack Flame
2017GreeneryDenim DriftViolet Verbena
2016Rose Quartz & SerenityCherished GoldParadise Found
2015MarsalaCopper BlushBlue Paisley
2014Radiant OrchidTealTurning Oakleaf
2013EmeraldIndigoAloe
2012Tangerine TangoRedSarsaparilla
2011HoneysuckleIndigo Cloth
2010TurquoiseLagoon
2009MimosaFresh Guacamole
2008Blue Iris
2007Chili Pepper
2006Sand Dollar
2005Blue Turquoise
2004Tigerlily
2003Aqua Sky
2002True Red
2001Fuchsia Rose
2000Cerulean

Brand Strategies

You might speculate that Pantone’s affinity for vivid, saturated colours mirrors a strategy to capture consumer attention. On the other hand, Dulux seems to focus on softer, more muted tones, potentially targeting a different market segment. PPG appears to take a balanced approach, perhaps aiming for universal appeal.

Impact on the Industry

The ‘Colour of the Year’ choices by these brands influence not just the paint industry but also sectors like home décor, retail and commercial buildings, fashion, and automotive design. Understanding these choices allows industry professionals and consumers alike to anticipate market trends.

Global Mood

External events and the mood of the global population may influence the choice of colour. Here are some interpretations based on colour psychology and notable events:

Pantone:

  • 2001 (Fuchsia Rose) & 2002 (True Red): Both are intense, vivid colors. 2001 was a significant year due to the 9/11 attacks, and the following year still carried the emotional weight of that event.
  • 2008 (Blue Iris) & 2009 (Mimosa): A transition from a rich blue to a warm yellow may reflect the mood of change and hope as Barack Obama took office in the U.S. in 2009.
  • 2020 (Classic Blue) & 2021 (Ultimate Gray, Illuminating): Classic Blue, often seen as reliable and stable, may reflect a need for stability at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pairing of Ultimate Gray and Illuminating in 2021 could signify a light at the end of the tunnel, with vaccines becoming available.

Dulux:

  • 2018 (Heart Wood) & 2019 (Spiced Honey): Both colors are warm and comforting, perhaps reflecting a need for comfort in years that had their share of political uncertainties, such as Brexit negotiations.
  • 2021 (Brave Ground) & 2022 (Bright Skies): Brave Ground, a neutral and grounding shade, could be reflective of a world grappling with a pandemic and social issues. Bright Skies in 2022 may indicate a more optimistic outlook.

PPG:

  • 2015 (Blue Paisley) & 2016 (Paradise Found): The shift from a dark blue to a more natural green might reflect a growing emphasis on sustainability and environmental consciousness.
  • 2020 (Chinese Porcelain) & 2021 (Transcend, Big Cypress, Misty Aqua): The dark, introspective blue of 2020 perhaps reflects the somber mood of the pandemic, while the more varied palette of 2021 might indicate complexity and a range of emotions as the world navigated the ongoing crisis.

Conclusion

The Colour of the Year is a meticulously chosen representation of a brand’s market insight and consumer understanding. While the metrics of lightness and saturation can offer a quantitative perspective, the real story lies in how these colours resonate with the market and influence trends across various sectors.

Additional Resources

Dulux Colour of the Year

PPG Colour of the Year

Pantone Colour of the Year