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‘Living Coral': 2019 Color of the Year Comes from the Sea

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A company known for shaping trends in color design has announced its color of the year for 2019.

The winning color is called Living Coral. It is based on the look of healthy coral reefs in the world's oceans.

The announcement came December 5 from Pantone, a company with offices in the American state of New Jersey. Pantone seeks to predict color trends and examine the psychological effects of color.

This Sept. 12, 2018 file photo shows a model wearing a coral outfit from the Marc Jacobs spring 2019 collection during Fashion Week in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)
This Sept. 12, 2018 file photo shows a model wearing a coral outfit from the Marc Jacobs spring 2019 collection during Fashion Week in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)

The company advises major businesses on choosing colors for their products and advertising campaigns. Its color of the year can influence many different industries. These include beauty care, fashion, art, home and product design.

Pantone says its experts look around the world for color influences in these and other industries throughout the year. The company's Pantone Color Institute chooses the color of the year.

Leatrice Eiseman is the head of the institute. She says people in our busy and technological world seem to be "craving human interaction and social connection."

Corals are groups of small organisms called polyps. These polyps live within a hard skeleton made of limestone.

Millions of corals grow together to form coral reefs. The reefs support many kinds of sea life. Coral reefs also support fishing activities and protect inland waterways.

The color Living Coral, Eiseman said, represents "humanizing and heartening qualities" that she thinks people will warmly receive. 'Color is an equalizing lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities," she added. "And this is particularly true for Living Coral.'

Pantone's vice president, Laurie Pressman, told the Associated Press (AP) the company considers the 2019 color of the year "warm and welcoming." The choice was especially important as human interaction seems to be decreasing in society, she said.

"With everything that's going on today, we're looking for those humanizing qualities because we're seeing online life dehumanizing a lot of things," she told the AP.

This Nov. 26, 2009 file photo shows orange colored ringed rice coral, or montipora patula, is waters off Waimanalo, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Keoki Stender, File)
This Nov. 26, 2009 file photo shows orange colored ringed rice coral, or montipora patula, is waters off Waimanalo, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Keoki Stender, File)

Pressman added that the company believes people want colors that signal "nourishment and comfort" to make them feel good about themselves and the world. Living Coral is an example of that, she said. "It's not too heavy. We want to play. We want to be uplifted."

Pressman added that while Living Coral is very bright and eye-catching, it is "not so overpowering and in your face."

The announcement comes at a time when rising water temperatures and human activities continue to harm coral reefs around the world. Such damage can remove the bright colors that represent coral as living, breathing things.

A Pantone statement said that Living Coral represents the energizing elements found in nature. It said the color shows the power of coral reefs to provide shelter to a great "kaleidoscope of color."

I'm Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English. His report was based on reports from the Associated Press and Pantone. George Grow was the editor.

What do you think of the 2019 color of the year? Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

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Words in This Story

trend – n. a general movement or direction

fashion n. a popular way of dressing during a particular time or among a particular group of people​

crave v. to want something very much

lens n. rounded piece of glass used by cameras, glasses or equipment to look at things

nourishment n. the food needed to keep you alive and healthy

comfort n. pleasant feeling of being relaxed and having no pain

kaleidoscope n. mixture of many colorful things

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