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Q&A with Laurie Pressman, VP, Pantone Color Institute

From April 9-11, 2018, FUSE 2018 in New York City will celebrate those who are changing the face of design and the way consumers experience and interact with the brand.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Laurie Pressman, vice president of Pantone Color Institute, for an exclusive interview prior to her upcoming FUSE session, “Coloring the Zeitgeist – How Trends in Color Reflect the Culture.” We talked about the impact of color within today’s society and how brands can connect with color trends that resonate with their audience. 

Pressman - color

Today’s society is so fragmented – Is the concept of zeitgeist still relevant?

Laurie Pressman: The concept of zeitgeist is highly relevant; trends in colors reflect what is taking place in our culture at specific moments in time, so much so that historians can look back in time and trace trends in color to explain the intricacies of people and their society. Yes, society today is quite fragmented, but this is also being expressed in today’s color trends.

How do you think the Pantone Color of the Year Ultra Violet translates globally this year?

Laurie Pressman: The Pantone Color of the Year is a good example of how trends in color reflect what is happening in the global culture. With creativity and unique design front and center, we are seeing this year’s color, a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet, showing up across all areas of design around the world, from cars and carpeting to color cosmetics and consumer packaging. 

Of course one of the first areas we began seeing this mystical purple shade was in fashion apparel and accessories, however we’ve also noticed this shade in food as well! With all of the focus on the nutritious qualities of the purple foods, the purples have become the new “it” color in food design, making a strong statement on the table and for what we are ingesting into our bodies.

How can brands connect with the color trends to be more relevant to their audience?

Laurie Pressman: Brands can connect with color through different color trends services who have dedicated websites or books and magazines. It is always important to be aware of what’s popular and to use colors that are relevant to the audience you are trying to reach. However, just because something is on trend does not mean you should adopt it. Most importantly, think about what your brand stands for and how you can best utilize color to appeal to your audience. Some trends in color may work for you, some may not – take advantage of only those that do. 

In our upcoming FUSE session, we’ll talk about not only how color trends affect brands, but how brands safeguard their brand equity in the form of color through the supply chain and how they can achieve color consistency across marketing channels. Pantone is excited to meet and mingle with design leaders and innovators at FUSE.

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