Each year, the Pantone Color Institute names a color of the year. The color is reflective of the times and has a great influence on fashion, architecture, design, technology, film, art, and travel. Let’s take a look back across the decades and see how popular colors have changed and been influenced by what was happening in the world around us.
The decade was marked by the rise of youth culture and the popularity of concepts like counterculture and social revolution. Music and psychedelic drugs created an interest in color.
Colors: Hot Pink (a flamingo pink), Vermillion Orange (a bold orange), Grass Green (a shamrock green), Lemon Chrome (a vivid yellow), Cyan Blue (a bright blue) and Bright Violet (a deep purple).
The disco era saw the Western world in a recession, so calm, more sober colors entered the scene.
Colors: Avocado (a greenish brown), Burnt Sienna (a reddish brown), Carafe (a deep brown), Harvest Gold (a brownish gold), Rust (a reddish brown).
In the 80s vibrant color returned with the economic upturn. Fashion designers and pop stars introduced flamboyant colors and they were embraced by many, especially teens and women.
Colors: Lavender, Radiant Orchid (a solid purple), Mauve Orchid (a dusky grey-purple), Ribbon Red (an orange-tinted red), Royal Blue (a deep blue) and Rose Violet (a pinkish purple).
The grungy 1990s saw styles such as zen minimalism as well as street-based graffiti take root.
Colors: Overcast (a light grey), Lead Gray (a dark grey), Oasis (a yellow-green), Super Lemon (a bright yellow), Firecracker (a light orange) and Scuba Blue (a bright aqua blue).
The 2000s saw the growth of technology and globalization.
Colors: Cerulean (a calm blue-grey), Chili Pepper (a deep red), Satellite (a slate-grey), Lavender Aura (a bluish grey), Mimosa (a daffodil yellow) and Aspen Green (a greyish green).
Source: Pantone Color Institute
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