Ultra Violet: Laura Hodgson Weighs In on Pantone’s 2018 Color

Design Studio Interior Solutions’ designer Laura Hodgson sheds light on Pantone’s vibrant and bold Color of the Year.

Pantone is known internationally as the world-renowned authority on color, provider of color systems, and a leader in the technology for the selection of color across a variety of industries.  They are responsible for most of what is available on the mass retail market by following high style, cutting-edge visionaries across numerous industries and emerging trends. They have a panel dedicated to traveling to every major trade show across the globe, from cars to jewelry and everything in between.  After distilling this information, they publish forecasts that are sought out by companies ranging in industry from graphic arts and fashion to home goods and industrial design. 

Needless to say, Pantone holds a significant amount of clout within the design world, dictating what color trends to expect in the coming year. Their goal with the color of the year is to capture the pulse of the world, and where we are in terms of our psyche.  This helps marketers and retailers understand our hopes, fears, goals and what we want… making it easier to effectively market their products.  Having followed the Color of the Year predictions for over 10 years, I can say that Pantone diligently seeks to understand what consumers are struggling with, and where our world is headed.  I have heard Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, talk several times and find it fascinating to learn the process they follow to collect and distill this information.

Four years ago Pantone selected a shade of purple with red undertones, vibrant full of energy. This year, Pantone has opted for a moodier hue, Ultra Violet. 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. Though the shade itself is dark and rich, the blue undertones suggest grounding calmness. It represents complexity, change, turmoil, and the strange comfort we find in embracing it. “Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance,” Pantone states. “Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.”

Regardless of shade, purple is an interesting color.  At the end of the visible spectrum, it is harder for our eye to process and which tends to confuse the mind as to how to feel about this color. In essence it knocks people off-balance, psychologically. By choosing this particular color, Pantone is creating a statement about the unique times we are living in now, and how the world around us is constantly shifting and changing.

Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet. The color is often associated with mindful practices, royalty, and spirituality. In these nebulous times, it has become increasingly important to find grounding energies, recharging our batteries, and seeking higher purposes. The world is open to new possibilities and the unknown as we are all seeking to find our place and our joy.

Ultra Violet’s visceral effect on the global community can be emitted throughout your life, and most importantly, your home. If purple speaks to you, there are many ways to integrate it into your home’s design this year. A great place to start would be adding this eye-catching hue to your paint palette, accent pieces, and accessories.

For example, adding throw pillows, vases, or tableware is an easy way to incorporate this dynamic color. Many shades of purple pair beautifully with neutral interiors and look sophisticated with grey and dark brown. Modern homes can handle a pop of purple in a rug or accent wall and still maintain their quiet and refined aesthetic.

Homeowners who prefer traditional interiors could also take part in the trend by adding purple to olive or hunter green color schemes. Ultra Violet has also been paired with navy for a richer effect. Purple can be more “livable” and stay in style longer when mixed in with more traditional elements.


As always, Design Studio is here to help you figure out the best way to realize your home’s potential, and integrate vibrant colors and unique designs. Give us a call if you want to add a little individuality, mystery and Ultra Violet to your life this year.  We are happy to help!