Did Pantone Get It Right With 2022’s Color of The Year?

Jan 14, 2022

A few months ago, Pantone’s color of the year was announced. In a sea of year-end retrospectives and future industry projections, this annual announcement is always a fun, lighthearted moment for the design community. No matter the shade, it always brings out major opinions.

2022’s official color is called “Very Peri” (officially, Pantone No. 17-3938). It’s a rich shade of periwinkle. And, according to Pantone, Very Peri “helps us to embrace this altered landscape of possibilities, opening us up to a new vision as we rewrite our lives.

This time last year, Pantone designated two colors of the year for 2021—Ultimate Gray, and also a lemon-gold shade called Illuminating. The gray was an on-the-nose reference of the gloomy national mood after nine months of pandemic living, while the yellow hue was meant to be warming and optimistic. (Check out our material board from 2021 inspired by the colors of the year). Together, the colors “expressed a message of positivity supported by fortitude,” according to a statement. A similar kind of thinking applied to this year’s color. While blue is always a favorite, it tends to suggest a certain coolness and distance. Pantone therefore added a “red-violet undertone” to it, producing the periwinkle of note. 

So, because we know the Internet loves to weigh in every year, we thought we’d throw it to our CDA team to see how they reacted.

“In general, I love this color. But used in an interior space?

No way. I don't see it actually coming to fruition.”

– Emily Hoeven, Project Designer

“Looks great for aquarium or swimming pool facilities.”

– Martin Duda, Architectural Design Manager

“Sooooo 90's. And my brain immediately goes to a palette with lime green and orange.”

– Lauren Chipman, Chief Executive Officer

“First thought was also of a fuzzy Muppet.

However, it also reminded me of relaxing lavender fields.”

– Mary Madden, Project Manager

“I’m struggling with this color trend... maybe because we've been surrounded by so many warm, earthy inspired (biophilic) palettes as of recently and this is a departure from that?

But it does take me back as well, pretty certain my freshman year’s dorm room had a lot of Very Peri inspirations!”

– Julie Babcock, Design Manager

“I can't get behind this color as an interior trend. For me, it's too vibrant. The trends I've been seeing and have completely been on board with are earth tones: warm, calming and colorful but not in your face.

I can see this as an accent or a small piece of the whole design (Maybe like the millennial pink has been?), but not taking over. With that being said, it's January and maybe I'm just not emotionally ready for vibrancy just yet.”

– Bree Burkett, Resource Designer

Have you seen Pantone's 2022 color of the year, Very Peri? What do you think about it? Cool? Weird? Tired? Trying too hard? Soothing? Exciting? Do you think you'll start using it on projects? Let us know!