Andrea Tsang Jackson trained as an architect and educator. She’s now a quilt designer and artist and today she’s sharing expert tips on how designers and crafters can incorporate Ultra Violet, the Pantone Color of the Year, into their work. Learn how to pair this color to make it shine! Here’s Andrea:

Pantone Color of the Year

A myriad of words can be associated with Ultra Violet, the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year: magical, energetic, sublime, other-worldly, futuristic, emotional, mysterious. Ultra Violet is outside of the realm of the everyday; it is extraordinary. The Pantone Color Institute describes it as such: “A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future. Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”

The Pantone Color Institute goes on to discuss the uniqueness of creatives like Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix that are associated with this hue. It also describes the spiritual quality of the color and its association with mindfulness practices and escape from the noisiness of today’s world.

The purpose of the Pantone Color of the Year is set the tone for designers and brands to inspire and influence in the year ahead. The choice of color is a few years in the making, well before retailers start selling products that use the hue. The Pantone Color of the Year is “a reflection of the what’s needed in the our world today,” wrote Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute, on the Pantone website. In a world full of noise, images, and constant stimulation, the qualitative descriptions of Ultra Violet might just be on point.

Detail, Amethyst Gemology Wall Hanging by 3rd Story Workshop. Photo: Deborah Wong

Ultra Violet is a saturated purple that leans towards blue. When confronted with very intense hues, one could easily turn to neutrals to surround it, to really let the color “pop.” The contrast between the loud color and the neutrals lets the color speak with volume. However, this contrast approach doesn’t seem to work as well with Ultra Violet. Instead, Ultra Violet seems to work well with other colors that are like it, rather than opposed to it. Let’s look at different combinations with Ultra Violet that achieve beautiful effects and convey different things to your audience.

Monochromatic color schemes

In Sofie Nix’s Summer Sampler blocks below, she uses a mostly monochromatic color palette. There are many shades of purple with some bright pinks that act as accents. This tight color scheme seems to bring forth the qualities of described by the Pantone Color Institute — deep connection and contemplation.

Summer Sampler by Sofie Nix

Analogous color schemes

Using Ultra Violet with other saturated hues that reside next to it on the color wheel, gives it a harmonious feel. Kristin Shields’ Minimal Purple brings Ultra Violet together with pinks, reds, and oranges. Within such a minimal composition, the vibrancy of these hues are very lively and bounce off each other. Choosing such intense colors to combine seems very intentional and might speak to customer that is confident and knows what they want.

Minimalist Purple, 25″ x 26″ by Kristin Shields

Combining Ultra Violet with analogous colors, but muting some of the colors also really achieves a beautiful sunset-like quality. Tanya Shliazhko’s Crochet Zig Zag Pattern uses four colors of yarn to achieve an ombre effect, which can be both sophisticated or baby- and child-friendly.

Tanya Shliazhko’s Crochet Zig Zag Pattern

Complementary color schemes

When looking at a CMY color wheel (cyan, magenta, yellow), Ultra Violet sits across from a yellow-ish green.

In this home decor photo via Kailo Chic, the complementary colors of bright lime green and dark purple really bounce off each other. The strength of this combo lies in its simplicity (two hues only) and the intensity of both colors. However intense, bringing in green gives it a sense of rootedness, potentially for someone who wants achieve some calm in this new year.

Agate Side Table via Kailo Chic

To be inspired to use Ultra Violet in your own work this year, check out Etsy’s picks, Spoonflower’s post, and Pinterest.

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