Each year since 2000, the colour experts at the Pantone Color Institute forecast the global annual colour trends in all areas of design. The selection of the colour of the year is a result of a thoughtful consideration and analysis of new influences in fashion, lifestyle, travel destinations, technology and culture.
And for 2018, Pantone has selected Ultra Violet as a symbol of originality, visionary thinking, the unknown cosmos, and the human mind that ventures beyond the limits of the ordinary and familiar world. Creative inspiration, imagination and mindfulness, artistic expression and spiritual awareness – these are all part of the ideas that lie behind the concept of Ultra Violet in 2018.
The colour itself is a blue-based purple – a shade that is enigmatic and unconventional, to inspire experimentation and to deepen contemplation and connection.
The violet colour is commonly associated with the Crown chakra in yoga, that unites the individual with the universal. Purple is also known to be a good shade to use in meditation as it suggests peace of mind and spiritual fulfilment.
The colour sense of the term developed from the small wild flower with purplish petals, the Violet, and the word was introduced into English from Old French violete circa 1300. The origin of the word takes us back to the Latin name of both the flower and the colour – viola.
As for ultraviolet, it means ‘beyond the violet end of the visible spectrum,’ and derives from the Latin prefix ultra ‘beyond,’ with violet being the colour of the highest frequencies of visible light and with ultraviolet having a higher frequency than violet light, or with other words: ultraviolet represents an unseen wavelength beyond the visible spectrum.
Ultraviolet radiation was discovered in 1801, and in 1840, the term ultraviolet was first recorded in use in English to describe the chemical power of ultraviolet rays as investigated by John Frederick William Herschel, an astronomer, chemist, inventor, and experimental photographer, in his On the Chemical Action of the Rays of the Solar Spectrum on Preparations of Silver and Other Substances, Both Metallic and Non-Metallic, and on Some Photographic Processes.
The ultraviolet catastrophe idiom appeared first in print in 1911, ultraviolet photography was first used as evidence in court in the 1930s, in 1991, U2 released their Ultraviolet (Light My Way) song, and nowadays Pantone declared Ultra Violet to light the way to what is yet to come: ’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.’